Citing two people familiar with the plans, Bloomberg is reporting that Verizon Wireless will begin selling the iPhone next year for the first time. The iPhone has been available exclusively on AT&T since the first generation device was released in June 2007.
Verizon is the largest mobile carrier in the US, with over 92 million customers, and plans to have a 4G LTE network running in 30 US cities by December this year, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to get your hopes up for a 4G iPhone.
AT&T's poor coverage and network issues have been well documented, with the company going as far as offering a 3G Microcell device that uses your home broadband connection to combat coverage and reception issues.
Losing iPhone exclusivity will certainly hurt AT&T, with roughly one third of its iPhone activations in Q1 2010 being new customers. According to analysts, those 900,000 new subscribers may have been the only thing preventing AT&T from losing subscribers during the quarter.
Apple's latest iPhone 4 sold 1.7 million units in three days, and with multiple carriers selling the device in the US, we can only guess how many units Apple will sell when the fifth generation device goes on sale June next year.