Verizon getting iPhone next year… for real, this time?

If Verizon gets its own version of the iPhone in early 2011, as Barclays PLC is now predicting, it could lead to 9 million new Verizon activations and a switch-over for as many as a million AT&T customers.

James Ratcliffe, analyst at powerful financial group Barclays, said in a statement today that he expects Verizon to nab iPhone power and release it early next year, based on “channel checks by our communications equipment and semiconductor research partners.”

It could lead to a huge shift in the mobile market, as iPhone customers would no longer be “stuck” with AT&T, a provider that is commonly rated as the worst of the major US carriers, and could instead choose Verizon.

Verizon is at the top of Consumer Reports’ list of mobile providers and it has the largest customer base in the US.

However, Verizon operates on a different mobile standard than AT&T, so the conversion from GSM to CDMA will take time and money. It would be worth it, though, because Ratcliffe says that 9 million Verizon iPhones would likely be sold in its first year.

Between 500,000 and 1 million of those would be AT&T customers jumping ship because they’re dissatisfied with their current service, says Ratcliffe.

It would hurt AT&T, of course. It’s not every day that a mobile phone provider sells 600,000 of one phone in a single day.