WSJ: Verizon to ‘Upend’ Mobile Industry Tuesday with iPhone Debut

On Friday evening, the Wall Street Journal confidently reported news that is widely expected to turn the mobile industry on its side.

On Tuesday, January 11th, Verizon Wireless – the nation’s largest mobile network – will announce a new partnership with Apple enabling the carrier to provide coverage for the iPhone.

According to the Wall Street Journal report, the arrival of the Verizon iPhone will “upend the balance of power” in the mobile industry, effectively ending AT&T’s three year iPhone exclusivity (in the US) and “leaving smaller players like Sprint Nextel Corp. and T-Mobile USA facing two well-capitalized competitors offering the world’s most popular smartphone.”

On Friday, Verizon began sending invitations to many reporters in the technology field for an event scheduled for Tuesday, January 11th at 11:00 am inside the Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City’s Lincoln Center. At that time, the long-awaited and near-mythical CDMA iPhone will be unveiled.

It isn’t yet known if Verizon will immediately have the iPhone stocked in its retail stores.

Although the arrival of Apple’s revolutionary handset to Verizon’s network will drastically increase the iPhone’s smartphone marketshare, analysts fear AT&T “could see one to three million fewer new subscribers because of the Verizon iPhone.”

Tuesday’s event will be led by Lowell McAdam, president and chief operating officer of Verizon Communications. As of Friday evening, there was only speculation – not confirmed reports – that Apple CEO Steve Jobs would be on hand for the presentation.