Microsoft, Verizon reportedly in talks to develop iPhone rival

Software giant Microsoft (MSFT) is in talks with Verizon (VZ) to develop a rival to Apple's popular iPhone, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

It's no wonder that rivals are looking to chase some of the iPhone's market share. Consumers can't get enough of the gadget, even during the recession. In its latest earnings report, Apple said that it sold 1.6 million of the handheld devices during the first three months of 2009.

The Journal says that Microsoft's project, code-named "Pink," would likely include Microsoft's new Windows Marketplace for Mobile and a mobile application store similar to Apple's.

But Microsoft isn't the only company keeping tabs on the iPhone's success. On Monday, Apple (AAPL) and wireless carrier Verizon were reportedly said to be in discussions on distributing the iPhone in 2010. Apple and AT&T have been able to capture consumers' attention with their joint effort on the iPhone. Currently, AT&T is the exclusive carrier for the device, but those rights expire next year.

DailyFinance senior reporter and columnist Anthony Massucci wrote that "AT&T should be worried if, indeed, Apple is talking to Verizon about distributing iPhones" as sales of iPhones continue to soar.

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