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Rumors of a Verizon-compatible CDMA Apple iPad persist

Despite Apple last week introducing an AT&T-only 3G data plan for the iPad in the U.S., rumors continue to persist that the hardware maker will introduce a CDMA-capable model for the Verizon network.

Citing a source within Verizon, Silicon Alley Insider reported Monday that a CDMA-compatible iPad is "still in the works."

Introduced last week, the new iPad comes in a 3G-enabled version with a $130 price premium. The GSM-only version will offer no-contract data plans with AT&T, running $15 per month for 250MB of data, or $30 per month for unlimited access.

If the rumor proves accurate, a Verizon-compatible iPad would likely be an entirely new hardware version, rather than a "world mode" device. The 3G-capable AT&T iPad is scheduled to launch in three months.

In addition to Monday's anonymous tip, analysts Brian Marshall, with Broadpoint AmTech, and Ashok Kumar, with Northeast Securities, also said they still believe a Verizon iPad will arrive in the near future. Both incorrectly predicted that Apple would introduce a Verizon-capable iPad last week.

Last week, Apple executives made a clear effort to demonstrate they are happy with their partnership with AT&T. The company also aimed to downplay speculation that the iPhone would become available on multiple carriers in the U.S.

On a conference call following its quarterly earnings report, Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said multi-carrier strategies are not the best option for every country.

"I don't want to imply that would happen in every market or that we are headed that way in every market," Cook said. He also specifically defended AT&T and said the nation's second-largest wireless carrier is working to alleviate coverage concerns across the country.

In the months of lead-up to the iPad announcement last week, numerous reports suggested Apple would introduce devices compatible with the networks of both AT&T and Verizon. Marshall went as far as to call Verizon compatibility "a certainty."

Contacted by Silicon Alley Insider, the analyst said he's "not 100 percent sure" what happened, but he believes a Verizon iPad is coming in the near-term, and a CDMA iPhone will arrive in the second half of 2010.

Analysts now believe a partnership with Verizon — perhaps for both the iPhone and the iPad — could be unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference this summer. A calendar listing for San Francisco's Moscone Center has led some to believe that WWDC 2010 could take place between June 28 and July 2.