Verizon Sells iPads, Are iPhones Next?

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Apple (Stock Quote: AAPL) announced Thursday that Verizon’s (Stock Quote: VZ) stores will begin selling the iPad, setting a precedent for the two companies to work together.

Starting Oct. 28, Verizon will offer the three Wi-Fi enabled iPads, but not the 3G models which run on an AT&T data plan. For now, no iPads are being offered that actually run on the Verizon Wireless network, but Verizon has bundled together the Wi-Fi models with a special Verizon MiFi device, which boosts wireless coverage by tapping into Verizon hotspots.

The news is particularly exciting because it comes amid heated rumors that Apple will introduce an iPhone that runs on Verizon’s network by sometime early next year.

Yet, it's important to consider the larger context for the announcement. The company also announced yesterday that AT&T (Stock Quote: T) will also begin selling the iPad in its stores and it recently made the iPad available in big box retail stores like Wal-Mart (Stock Quote: WMT) and Target (Stock Quote: TGT). Taken together, it looks like Apple is pursuing a strategy of broadening access to the iPad beyond its own retail stores in preparation for holiday sales, which will kick up in about a month.

Still, it’s true that with one Apple product on Verizon’s shelves, it’s not hard to imagine others popping up in the near future.

As we’ve written before, a Verizon iPhone might not be all it’s cracked up to be. There are still lingering doubts about whether a Verizon model would solve the current antenna problems that have plagued the iPhone 4, not to mention concerns that users would not be able to multitask on a Verizon iPhone.

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