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Apple to Release Verizon iPad

Hot off the heels of the Verizon iPhone announcement comes a report that Verizon Wireless will soon be offering Apple’s iPad with an embedded CDMA chip to better compete with AT&T.

Verizon Wireless will sell a version of Apple Inc.’s  iPad tablet computer that can connect directly to its network, posing another challenge to AT&T Inc. as the carrier’s exclusive hold on the iPhone draws to a close.

Verizon will get an embedded chip in the iPad for use on its network, Francis Shammo, chief financial officer of Verizon Communications Inc., the parent of the wireless unit, said today in an interview in New York. iPad users currently need an extra device to connect to Verizon’s network. Shammo declined to say when the change may happen.

We reported that Apple planned to offer three versions of its next-gen iPad each with alternate ways of connecting to the Internet. One of those options is expected to work with Verizon’s wireless network.

The move likely signals Apple’s efforts to attract more consumers by providing diverse connection options including combinations of Wi-Fi and the 3G wireless standards of UMTS and CDMA.

While Apple’s iPad enjoyed unprecedented success in 2010 as the first mass produced tab to make a splash with the general public — the iPad claimed 95 percent of all sales in the third quarter of 2010 and has sold an estimated 7.5 million units — a new wave of competition already crashing on American shores.