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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Mary Louise Kelly.

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And I'm Melissa Block.

Apple announced today that it will start selling its iPad in Verizon stores, and that's got a lot of people excited not because of what it means for the iPad but because of what it could mean for the iPhone. NPR's Laura Sydell reports.

LAURA SYDELL: Imagine if the iPhone and AT&T were dating. It seems like AT&T got really lucky because AT&T is a nice enough guy, but he's just not that good looking. But the iPhone?

THOMAS HOEBELL: Ah, the virtues of this girl. I would say sexy, gorgeous, fashionable.

SYDELL: Thomas Hoebell, who lives in Ithaca, New York, wants the iPhone to date other people, but as long as she's hitched to AT&T's cell phone service, he won't take her out. Hoebell is among a large number of people who say AT&T's service is inferior to Verizon's. Hoebell's been looking for signs that the monogamous relationship between AT&T and the iPhone may soon be over.

HOEBELL: You know, I've expected it for a long time but never really saw any viable signs that it was happening until the past month or so.

SYDELL: In the last month, major news organizations have quoted anonymous sources who say that Apple will release an iPhone on Verizon. But today's announcement that the iPad would be sold in Verizon stores is the clearest sign yet. Charles Golvin is an analyst at Forrester Research.

CHARLES GOLVIN: So I think this is a harbinger of a deeper relationship between Verizon and Apple in the relatively near future.

SYDELL: Back when Apple first released the iPhone, they had good reasons for hitching up with AT&T. There are two kinds of cell phone networks. The one Verizon uses, called CDMA, is considered to be more reliable in the U.S. But Apple wanted to be able to sell the iPhone all over the world. So they went with AT&T's GSM technology.

GOLVIN: Because that is the technology that is most widely used throughout the world, more than 80 percent of the subscribers in the world.

SYDELL: But not in the U.S., where Verizon's technology is generally believed to provide superior phone service.

Ed Zitron, who has an Android phone, says he only has it because Verizon's network is better. But if the phone goes to Verizon?

ED ZITRON: But I'd definitely drop my Droid for an iPhone 4 if it did.

SYDELL: Today's announcement that the iPad will be sold at Verizon stores is giving him hope that he will soon be able to drop his Droid. But there have been rumors for years about an end to the iPhone's monogamous relationship with AT&T. So he's not uncorking the champagne just yet.

Laura Sydell, NPR News, San Francisco.

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