Ugh. Verizon doesn't need to read mainstream press rumors to find out when the next iPhone is due. They have a big red phone that only dials one number. If they want to find out when the next phone is coming, they call Apple and ask. Apple with either say that it's coming in June, or they say we haven't set a final date, but don't expect it in June. Apple isn't going to tell Verizon "I guess you'll just have to wait and see". There's just no way. Plus, where do you think the "mainstream press" gets its info for rumors? You think Verizon has any contacts in cell phone factories in Asia they could ask?
The fact is, what happened was that Apple told Verizon they hadn't set a ship date for the new phone, but they were aiming for June/July as usual. As time went by, it became clear to Verizon and the rest of the world that that wasn't happening. There wasn't radio silence between Apple and Verizon for 3 months. In fact, we all know that cell phone providers are a big part of new product testing for manufacturers, so they probably had pre-production hardware in April.
By that time (April, May), Verizon's "expectations" (formed in February) of the phone in June were dashed. But that doesn't mean that they didn't have those expectations in February, and planned out their financial year accordingly. The quotes from Verizon this week don't mean that Verizon, yesterday, still thought the new Phone was coming in July. They just mean that Verizon at one time expected it in July.
I can't believe all the back and forth here that assumes that Verizon has to read the newspaper to find out when they're going to be buying $1,000,000,000 worth of new product from Apple. Cmon people, don't be so dumb!
No, the point was that EVEN IF for some strange reason, Apple didn't tell them a thing, they would still be idiots for thinking it was coming in June/July.
Plus, the fact that they claim to have inside knowledge of future products strongly suggests that Apple IS telling them things - as you've suggested.