Apple Inc. plans to make a version of its popular iPhone 4 available through Verizon Wireless by early next year, according to published reports.
The iPhone is now available only through AT&T Inc. Adding Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest mobile phone operator, could significantly boost sales of Apple's phones, which face rising competition from smartphones that use Google Inc.'s Android operating system.
The New York Times, citing an anonymous source briefed by Apple, reported the development late Friday.
Jeffrey Nelson, a spokesman for Verizon Wireless, declined to comment. Representatives of Apple couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
A Verizon Wireless executive earlier this week downplayed the possibility of an iPhone using the company's current network. The executive suggested an iPhone could be made available later for a faster Verizon Wireless network.