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Apple's Steve Jobs could appear onstage at Jan. 11 Verizon event

A new report claims that Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs will likely make an onstage appearance next Tuesday at Verizon's media event, which is rumored to contain the long-awaited announcement of a Verizon-compatible CDMA iPhone.

After Verizon sent out invitations to members of the press for a Jan. 11 event with Verizon President Lowell McAdam, a flurry of speculation arose that the event would feature the debut of the Verizon iPhone.

John Paczkowski of the Wall Street Journal Digital Daily blog has added to the rumors, claiming that Apple's Jobs "will likely be a special guest."

"While the appearance isn’t 100 percent assured, sources in a position to know tell me that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, Jobs will likely join McAdam onstage in New York when he announces the addition of the iPhone to its handset lineup," wrote Paczkowski, who views the event's New York location as evidence of a simple carrier announcement for "last year's iPhone."

According to Paczkowski, a new hardware announcement would instead take place in Cupertino or San Francisco.

In October, McAdam told the press that "Apple is the one that has to make" the Verizon iPhone announcement.

Rumors surrounding the Jan. 11 event were bolstered Friday by another rumor that the Verizon iPhone will go on sale on Thursday, Feb. 3. Earlier this week, AppleInsider was first to report that Apple has blocked its retail employees from taking vacation for a three-week period from the last week in January to the first two weeks in February.

Photos and video of a purported "unreleased iPhone design" surfaced earlier this week. The new design alters Apple's controversial antenna design from the iPhone 4, with two "antenna gaps" on each side and none on top. The video, which was posted to YouTube, has since been removed due to a copyright claim from Apple.