3G Verizon iPhone 4 Available Early February

The wait is over: Verizon Wireless today unveiled the iPhone 4, which existing customers can pre-order Feb. 3 and new subscribers can purchase Feb. 10.

Two big questions were answered today: if the Verizon iPhone would run on the carrier's 4G network, LTE -- it won't, it's 3G -- and how much it would cost, $199.99 for 16GB and $299 for 32GB, both with a two-year contract.

The Verizon iPhone FAQ, however, states, "When purchasing iPhone at the 2 year promotional price a new agreement is required. However, you will also have the option to purchase iPhone at full retail price, which will not require you to sign a long-term agreement. iPhone customers will need to choose from any of the current Nationwide plans. Customers will also be required to activate a data package, pricing will be announced at a later date."

It will be sold at more than 2,000 Verizon stores, at Verizon's Website, at Apple retail stores and also at Apple's Website.

The announcement was made by Verizon President and CEO Lowell McAdam -- who was joined by Dan Mead, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless, and Apple's COO Tim Cook -- today at Manhattan's Lincoln Center, with about 200 journalists attending.

They did not disclose whether a new iPhone, dubbed iPhone 5, expected in June, would be released simultaneously on AT&T and Verizon. They also declined to specify if there would be charges for tethering, saying announcements on pricing for network connectivity will be made in the future. It was disclosed that the CDMA iPhone is a multi-year, non exclusive agreement between Verizon with Apple.

And, while the Verizon iPhone 4 has all the standard specs of its AT&T sibling -- FaceTime, Retina display, 5-megapixel camera and so on -- it has the added functionality of acting as a hotspot for Wi-Fi connectivity for up to five mobile devices.

"iPhone will have the 3G Mobile Hotspot app pre-installed, and it will also have other popular apps available in the market such as VZ Navigator, and V CAST Media Manager," according to Verizon's iPhone FAQ.

Verizon and Apple have been discussing bringing the iPhone to the nation's No. 1 carrier since 2008, McAdam said during the press conference.

And, though Verizon lately has been touting its efforts to roll out its 4G LTE network, Mead said the company is still committed to making 3G improvements.

As for why Verizon is not launching the iPhone 4 on LTE/4G, Cook said the first iteration of LTE chipsets would involve design compromises that Apple is not willing to make. He also said that Verizon customer demand for the iconic handset is so high that rolling out the iPhone now instead of later is the best strategy.


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