Apple plans to launch a new Code division multiple access (CDMA) iPhone for US mobile phone carrier Verizon according to a well known blogger with a good track record of predicting the company's future plans.

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber reports the CDMA iPhone is codenamed 'N92' and has reached 'engineering verification test' (EVT) status. "That’s one step below DVT (device verification test), which is one step below production. So it’s right about where you’d think it would be if it were scheduled to go on sale in January. The CDMA iPhone is no longer a cold storage, keep-it-alive-just-in-case-we-need-it project," Gruber notes.

The new Apple phone is pretty much the same as the iPhone 4 available to buy today Gruber explains, but with CDMA replacing GSM.

A Verizon based iPhone is likely to be popular in parts of the US where AT&T, Apple's only mobile partner in the country,  is particularly poor including New York and San Francisco. Others carriers worldwide also use CDMA, including carriers in Asia and South America.

Apple iPhone 4

Gruber claims the Verizon iPhone could go on sale in January 2011, if a recent Bloomberg report is to be believed.

"Apple is good at keeping future products secret, and, if anything, they’re getting better at it. But the weak spot in the secrecy chain is production. If you need millions of units, you need millions of components," Gruber adds. "That takes time, and it necessarily involves suppliers. If there are going to be millions of CDMA iPhones in January, we’re going to start hearing about signs of production."