updated 11:10 am EST, Tue January 11, 2011
Breaks long-held AT&T exclusivity
Verizon today confirmed plans to launch the iPhone 4 on February 10th. Contrary to some rumors the new model will be CDMA-only, forgoing the speed advantages of the carrier's nascent 4G LTE network in favor of 3G. A 16GB phone will cost $199, while a 32GB one will be $299, with each having the distinct advantage over AT&T versions in including mobile hotspot support for up to five devices.
The February 10th date is in fact only a public launch date, as existing Verizon subscribers will be able to pre-order on February 3rd. On the 10th people will be able to order online or at retail, either from Verizon or Apple.
A key technical limitation is that unlike standard iPhones, based on GSM, the Verizon model will be unable to handle voice and data simultaneously. The flaw is inherent to CDMA devices however, not Verizon.
The CEO of Verizon Wireless, Lowell McAdam, notes that talks with Apple began in 2008, and testing took place for roughly a year. The Verizon network is said to have been given increased capacity for the launch, which may avert some of the overloading problems AT&T continues to suffer with the iPhone, particularly whenever new models are released.