We've been doing our best to filter out the endless stream of baseless iPhone and Apple netbook rumours that have been doing the rounds in recent weeks, but this one has been getting a huge amount of attention today so let's cast our sceptical eye over it...
According to BusinessWeek, Apple and US monster telco Verizon are in advanced negotiations to release two 'iPhone-like' handhelds on the network before the end of the year.
"One device is a smaller, less expensive calling device described by a person who has seen it as an 'iPhone lite'," claims the report. "The other is a media pad that would let users listen to music, view photos, and watch high-definition videos, the person says. It would place calls over a Wi-Fi connection."
Our cynicism? Off the scale! Yes, there is a general consensus amongst most of the Apple rumours flying around currently that we'll be seeing more than one iPhone model announced at WWDC 2009. That makes sense to appeal to different price brackets ('iPhone nano' etc etc) and also to perhaps rope in the physical keyboard diehards with a sliding Qwerty model.
Media pad? Hmmmn to me an Apple netbook may well be in the offing and tied to a network but a 'media pad' sounds too much of a neither-here-nor-there product risk for the company during the economic downturn.
Most interesting to me however is simply the idea of Apple talking to another network other than AT&T in the US - if one exclusive contract may be about to come to an end, just how much longer is left on the others...?