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Thursday, January 25, 2007, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

Cramer: Cingular to give away 18 months of service with iPhone

Thursday's hot iPhone rumor comes compliments of CNBC analyst Jim Cramer, who suggests Cingular/ATT will sidestep subsidization of the Apple handset by giving away lengthy service contracts.

"In its call, the company made it very clear that it's going to use Apple's iPhone to get customers from Verizon Wireless by giving away its service for a year and a half to those customers who buy the phone," Cramer explained in his blog posting at TheStreet.com.

The CNBC "Mad Money" host believes the strategy will help the wireless carrier court a flurry of new subscribers while maintaining requests from Apple not to discount the cost of the $499 and $599 mobile devices.

Take our poll: Would 1.5 years of complimentary cell service increase your likelihood of purchasing an iPhone?