Apple has released a new iPhone model every summer for the past three years, but to date, AT&T Inc
That would change if, as the Wall Street Journal reported, Apple is indeed developing an iPhone that is CDMA-compatible, meaning it could run on Verizon's network. Apple and Verizon have declined to comment.
Apple's shares rose $4.50 to $236.90 on the New York Stock Exchange in early trading, after hitting a record high of $236.95 in the first minutes of the session. Verizon shares rose more than 2 percent to $31.15, while AT&T stock dropped nearly 1 percent to $26.30.
Rumors have swirled for some time about Apple launching an iPhone with Verizon. AT&T has been the sole U.S. carrier since the iPhone's 2007 debut and some iPhone users have complained about the quality of the AT&T network.
In another sign that Apple is about to branch out, a subsidiary of Taiwan netbook PC pioneer Asustek <2357.TW> has won orders to manufacture the iPhone to run on the CDMA standard, a source said.
The subsidiary, Pegatron, will begin shipping the phones next year, said the source. Whether those products would be for Verizon's network was unclear.
(Reporting by Paul Thomasch, editing by Maureen Bavdek)