Mark Siegel

NEW YORK ( -- Apple's iPhone is widely expected to come to Verizon Wireless next year. Here's the surprise twist: That won't spell disaster for AT&T. AT&T (T, Fortune 500) has been pounded for years about its network struggles, which recently got it crowned "worst carrier" in America in a Consumer Reports survey. IPhone addicts are often the company's most vocally unhappy customers. But AT&T isn't sweating bullets about the prospect of customers fleeing en masse when its exclusivity deal with Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) comes to an end. The telecom giant -- and many of the industry analysts

The Torch, a touch-screen smartphone with a slide-out keyboard, for $199 with a new two-year contract, but (AMZN, Fortune 500) immediately slashed the price of the Torch in half to $100 (). That's the same price Amazon is offering on the three-month old BlackBerry Bold 9650.Wirefly, and other mobile phone outlets also are selling the Torch at a much steeper discount than other phones that just launched. For example, the Motorola Droid 2 (which also launched Thursday) goes for $150 on Amazon and Wirefly, while the back-ordered Droid X sells for $180 on each site.

“Darn close to 100 million Americans don’t have a cellphone yet,” says Mort Rosenthal, a man who wants to change that. “They don’t know where to start! Which store do I go to? Will I get sold just the hot new thing? As a consumer, I think we find buying a cell phone to be a pretty miserable experience.” In classic see-a-need-fill-a-need fashion, Rosenthal, the former CEO of a billion-dollar software distribution company, is building a new retail chain called IMO (“Independent Mobile”) with the sole intent of making cellphone shopping easier. His goal is to lure customers with a promise that they’ll be able to

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