The iPhones are coming, to Verizon

The iPhones are coming, to Verizon

By Shay Castle
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Verizon officials announced in a press conference Tuesday that the wireless network will offer the iPhone 4 for sale early next month.

Pre-ordering begins Feb. 3 for existing Verizon customers, and opens to the general public a week later.

Verizon is capitalizing on the excitement by marketing the debut of the iPhone 4 as an event in and of itself. A banner on the company’s website reads “iPhone 4. Verizon. It begins 02.10.11.”

A promotional offer of $199.99 for the 16GB phone or $299.99 for the 32GB model is available with the signing of a two year contract.

The long awaited announcement comes after months of media speculation to the delight of iPhone users dissatisfied with the limitations of the AT&T network.

Most of the features on the Verizon iPhone will be identical to those offered by AT&T. One exception is 3G personal hot spot capability, which allows users to connect up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices. This feature will only be available on the new Verizon models.

Despite the general excitement, some online bloggers have expressed disappointment that the iPhone 4 will not run on Verizon’s 4G network, but instead utilize older technology.

Older technology means limited capabilities. Verizon iPhone users will not be able to use the internet while placing a call or use their phone overseas.

Apple COO Tim Cook said that the company was unwilling to make “design compromises” needed to allow the iPhone 4 to run on the 4G network. Also coming into play was the incredible demand by Verizon customers for the popular smart phone.

“Verizon customers have told us they want the iPhone now,” Cook said at the press conference. “I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve been asked: ‘When will the iPhone work on the Verizon network?’”

Verizon and iPhone maker Apple began discussions in 2008, one year after the iPhone was released by AT&T. The two wireless providers will remain exclusive carriers.

Still, the question remains: Will the acquisition of the iPhone result in a sizable shift of users from AT&T to Verizon?

Big numbers have been thrown around as estimates. Ted Moore, a portfolio manager with Fifth Third, predicted in the “Washington Post” that as many as three million AT&T subscribers will defect to Verizon within the first year.

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Verizon Wireless President and CEO Dan Mead was onstage in New York City for the announcement that his company and Apple have teamed up to deliver the iPhone 4 on Verizon. (Joe Vericker/Verizon/MCT)