iPad coming to Verizon

Verizon Wireless announced today that it will begin selling the Wi-Fi version of Apple’s iPad at the end of this month. The news follows unconfirmed reports that Verizon will start selling a version of the iPhone early next year.

While AT&T will remain the exclusive provider for the 3G version of the iPad, Verizon will offer the option of bundling the Wi-Fi iPad with a “Mi-Fi” gadget, a small battery-powered device that connects to Verizon’s 3G network and can relay data to the iPad via Wi-Fi.

The iPad was recently anointed the “fastest-selling gadget of all time” after researchers estimated that Apple had sold 8.5 million iPads since its launch in April of this year.

The iPad is already sold in Best Buy and Target stores, and Wal-Mart will begin selling the device this weekend. The addition of Verizon outlets will clearly give Apple a huge advantage as it gears up for head-to-head competition with a slew of other tablet devices expected to appear in the next few months.

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