iPhone-like devices cooking between Verizon and Apple?

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Shortly after rumors broke yesterday, suggesting that Apple and Verizon were negotiating a possible CDMA-compatible iPhone, yet another has spawned. This time around, though, the buzz is focused on the companies discussing two new iPhone-esque gadgets, described as an “iPhone lite” and an “Apple media pad”. Unlike previous speculation about an iPhone being available outside AT&T’s network next year, one of these two devices may be available as early as this summer.

Little is known about the so-called iPhone lite apart from it being a smaller, cheaper version of the iPhone, while more insight is available for the media pad. As of now it is expected to resemble Amazon’s Kindle 2 and is speculated to allow users to view images, listen to music and watch HD video.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that something is in the works between Apple and Verizon. Should it be a couple of iPhone spin-offs, does that boost or lower the likelihood of AT&T successfully refreshing their exclusivity contract over the iPhone 3G?

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