Apple might be close to announcing a partnership with Verizon Wireless so that the data-centric iPhone will be offered through a new wireless provider, giving the public the an option of a choice of wireless providers besides AT&T, according to UBS Investment Research analyst Maynard Um.

The move would provide a major boost to iPhone sales, Michael Scalis, an IT manager based in Alameda, California said.

The iPhone is appealing for a great number of people, but AT&T, the notorious wireless provider, turns out to be a deal breaker despite the fact it pays handsomely for the privilege. Providing a second provider would capture these customers.

Besides, jumping from AT&T to Verizon will provide current iPhone customers a new phone with a new contract, an ideal opportunity for those who wants to upgrade to the 3GS.

With the newest iPhone software, AT&T is now the weak link when it comes to the lack Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) on the iPhone. Verizon, needing to provide features to entice customers, is expected to offer MMS, including tethering. To remain competitive, AT&T would have to follow suit.