None other than the Wall Street Journal, and the notoriously well-informed Yukari Iwatani Kane, is saying Apple will have a Verizon-compatible iPhone ready by the end of 2010, which means if a deal can be worked out, Verizon could be carrying it by early 2011 (as numerous previous rumors have suggested).

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.

Kane also says "people briefed on the matter" reveal Apple is working on a new form factor for iPhone 5, which would almost certainly be revealed at WWDC 2011 in June. Whether or not this is a new antenna design isn't said, but it isn't hard to imagine either.

Neither Apple nor Verizon would comment, so we'll leave that to you...

UPDATE: Lowell McAdam, Verizon’s President and COO commented, or rather no-commented during the CTIA show:

“This is one of those things that rolls out every few weeks whether there’s a basis for it or not,” he said when asked to comment on the story. “I can’t give you any insights. But I think Apple is the one that has to make that announcement.”

He reiterated what he said is his common response to questions about the iPhone. “What I’ve always said is I expect at some point in time our business interests are going to align. I think things like LTE are another great reason why they’d want a device or tablet on that network. But I don’t have anything to say today about timing.”

[WSJ, Macworld, thanks to everyone who sent this in]