An analyst has suggested that AT&T provided those "breakthrough" cheap and flexible iPad data plans in exchange for a brief extension in iPhone exclusivity, delaying the launch of iPhone (or iPad) on Verizon until 2011.

Of course, with analysts we never know how much of what they say is based on actual information and how much is based on supposition, but here's the crux:

"AT&T had to do something dramatic to get the iPad," said Brian Marshall, a Wall Street analyst at BroadPoint AmTech. AT&T's move was to discount their normal wireless data plans by 50% to iPad customers.

As part of the tit-for-tat, AT&T got what it wanted. "For that pricing [on the iPad], AT&T was able to negotiate a six-month extension on the iPhone exclusive," Marshall said.

Rumors of AT&T outbidding Verizon aren't new. Before the iPad, we heard Apple and Verizon had the technology in place but were apart when it came to money -- not surprising with both companies being so utterly controlling. Still, many believed they'd work it out and 2010 was finally the year iPhone would hit Verizon.

Despite success with Android, Verizon continues to want the iPhone. Verizon users also still want the iPhone. We daresay, users of other networks (some of whom already have iPhones) want Verizon to get the iPhone.