The rumours that Verizon Wireless is in talks with Apple over future models of the iPhone have intensified in the States, with the news that there are two "iPhone-like devices" currently being discussed by the two companies.

BusinessWeek reports that Apple's top-secret prototypes are currently being shown off to the US operator in meetings going back 6 months, that have involved currently-on-medical-leave Apple boss Steve Jobs.

BusinessWeek says of the new gadgets: "One device is a smaller, less expensive calling device described by a person who has seen it as an 'iPhone lite'. The other is a media pad that would let users listen to music, view photos, and watch high-definition videos".

One of these devices may be introduced as early as this summer, BusinessWeek's sources say.

Giving credibility to the rumours, Verizon Wireless' CEO has confirmed that the company has spoken with Apple executives, stating: "In the last six months, I have talked to Steve Jobs".

It's thought that AT&T, the current exclusive iPhone operator in the States, is soon to see its agreement with Apple to offer its mobile phones coming to an end.

Here in the UK, O2 is the official iPhone operator and speculation about that company's Apple agreement coming to an end has been fuelled by the news that Vodafone (that owns some of Verizon Wireless) has just launched an "iPhone Homepage" portal.