Apple plans to begin producing a new iPhone that will be sold by Verizon Wireless next year, ending the run of AT&T as the exclusive US carrier, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The newspaper, citing "people briefed by Apple," said the new iPhone would be similar in design to the iPhone 4 currently sold by AT&T but would be based on the alternative wireless technology called CDMA used by Verizon.

Apple plans to begin mass production of the new iPhone by the end of 2010 and it is expected to be released in the first quarter of next year, it said.

The Journal said Qualcomm is providing a key chip for the new iPhone.

AT&T has been the exclusive carrier of the iPhone since the touchscreen smartphone was launched in 2007.

The Journal also said that Apple separately is developing a fifth-generation iPhone that will be a "different form factor" from those that are currently available.