Consumer: Verizon iPhone rumors, more...

PHILADELPHIA - December 28, 2010

Verizon iPhone buzz:

Here's what appears to be a sign that VERIZON will soon offer the iPhone. Quoting anonymous sources, Digitimes reports Apple's goal is to ship as many as 6 million CDMA iPhones in the first three months of next year.

Unlike AT&T's GSM cellular network, Verizon's network is CDMA.

Meantime, iPhone service on AT&T could get better in the new year. AT&T is reporting its deployment of wi-fi hot spots to improve its wireless data capacity.

Apple apps and advertising

Here is one more note for iPhone and iPad users. A newly filed lawsuit against Apple claims some of its apps for those devices transmit users' personal information to advertising networks without customers' consent.

The complaint seeks class action status and claims iPhones and iPads are encoded with identifying devices that allow advertisers to track what apps you use as well as access your personal information.

The lawsuit identifies apps like the Weather Channel and

The suit against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was filed by Jonathan Lalo of Los Angeles County.

Lalo's lawyers are Scott A. Kamber and Avi Kreitenberg of KamberLaw LLC in New York.

The case is Lalo v. Apple, 10-5878, in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California in San Jose.

Orange juice and gas prices up

Record cold in Florida could cost you. Orange juice futures have hit three-and-a-half year highs. Prices are up 14-percent this month.

Gas prices are up again, too, nearing a record for this time of year, a gallon of regular rose 7-cents last week to a national average of $3.05.

The former president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister, says Americans could be paying $5 for a gallon of gasoline by 2012 because of the increase of global demand for oil.

Ford unveils start-stop system

Here's some good news to help improve your vehicle's fuel efficiency:

Ford Motor Company says it'll add an auto "start-stop" system. The feature will shut off your engine when your car comes to a stop.

The system is expected to boost fuel economy by up to 10-percent.

It's already available on Ford's hybrid vehicles sold in North America - and the automaker says it'll add it to conventional cars, crossovers and SUVs in 2012.

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