The Wall St. Journal today reports that a Verizon iPhone is coming within the next two months and will be distributed early next year:

Apple Inc. plans to begin mass producing a new iPhone by the end of 2010 that would allow Verizon Wireless to sell the smartphone early next year, said people briefed by Apple.

The new iPhone would be similar in design to the iPhone 4 currently sold by AT&T Inc. but would be based on an alternative wireless technology called CDMA used by Verizon, these people said. The phone, for which Qualcomm Inc. is providing a key chip, is expected to be released in the first quarter of next year, according to the same people.

Separately, Apple is also developing a new iPhone model, said people briefed on the matter. One person familiar with the new iPhone plan said the fifth-generation iPhone will be a different form factor from those that are currently available. It was unclear how soon that version will be available to Verizon.

But you knew that already, right?

Update:PED at Fortune notes some irregularities:

But in this week’s item — as with the story last March — the reporters never actually call it a Verizon iPhone. Instead, it’s “Verizon-ready,” “based on an alternative technology … used by Verizon” and being produced on a schedule “that would allow Verizon Wireless to sell the smartphone early next year.”

Why the ambiguity? We suspect it’s because the reporters don’t actually know that Verizon will ever get the new phone. There are plenty of other carriers in the U.S. and overseas that could use a CDMA iPhone, and Apple could be building it for them.

It’s pretty clear that the Journal has been spoon fed these stories. What’s not so clear is why.

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