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NEW YORK (AP) – In a sign of warming relations between the two companies, Verizon Wireless is going to start selling Apple Inc.’s iPad at the end of this month, the companies said Thursday.

The news follows published reports that Verizon Wireless will start selling a version of the iPhone early next year. The companies have not confirmed the reports, and Verizon Wireless has downplayed the possibility of an iPhone for its current network.

AT&T Inc. is Apple’s exclusive U.S. carrier for the iPhone. It’s also the only U.S. carrier that’s compatible with the “3G” version of the iPad, which allows for cellular data access.

Verizon Wireless won’t sell the 3G version. Instead, it will sell the Wi-Fi version, with the option of bundling it with a “MiFi” gadget for about $130. MiFi, a Post-It-pad sized, battery-powered device, connects to Verizon’s 3G network and relays the data to the iPad via Wi-Fi. Data plans will start at $20 per month for 1 gigabyte.

The iPad is also sold by several retail chains, including Best Buy Inc. AT&T said separately Thursday that will also begin selling the iPad in its stores on Oct. 28. The carrier’s data plans for the iPad start at $15 per month.

Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications Inc. of New York and Vodafone Group PLC of Britain.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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