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CES 2011: Will Verizon go iPhone or Android?

Quietly bubbling this hour is speculation on news that Verizon CEO, Ivan Seidenberg will deliver the opening keynote speech at CES 2011 this coming January.

This is significant in lots of ways: not least because it reflects just how central to the evolution of the consumer electronics market mobile/cell phone devices and infrastructure have become.

What is also significant about this is that the announcement of the speech almost immediately generated speculation the Verizon boss would use the speech to announce the iPhone is coming to Verizon — big news to US consumers.

That this speculation almost instantly appeared reinforces Apple’s place among consumers as the company at the center of the evolution of the mobile space. Apple has become the watchword for mobile innovation.

The CES speech could equally see Seigenberg deliver news regarding Android OS-based devices, potentially including tablets, should Verizon choose to continue its non-iPhone strategy.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs would also be unlikely to want Verizon to make its own iPhone announcement, when you consider how Apple likes to be in good control of its bigger announcements.

The notion that Apple and Verizon may reach some kind of deal matches months of rumor; AT&T’s move this week to secure the US exclusive offer of the latest BlackBerry device also suggests a new landscape in the US smartphone biz.

We’ll wait and see. Meanwhile Google has announced that 200,000 Android devices are being sold each day, up from 160,000 in the last quarter.

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