At a press conference in New York City this Tuesday, Apple and Verizon Wireless announced that the iPhone 4 will be available on the Verizon Wireless network beginning on Thursday, February 10. Qualified Verizon customers will have the chance to pre-order that company's version of the device online on February 3, however, before general availability. Depending on what users want, it will be either better or worse than the existing AT&T version.
Besides the iPhone’s existing bells and whistles, Verizon iPhone 4 users will be able to take advantage of Personal Hotspot capabilities, which will allow them to connect with up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices. Unlike the current AT&T iPhone 4, Verizon's will use the CDMA network, not UMTS. It should be noted that if users plan to take their phones outside the U.S., this will severely limit their choice of networks, or could even keep them from using their phone altogether. Users will also not be able to surf the Net or check email while on phone calls, as CDMA doesn't allow for simultaneous voice and data operations.
Verizon's iPhone 4 will be available at a price of US$199.99 for the 16GB model, or US$299.999 for the 32GB model, with a two-year customer agreement. Besides all the usual Apple retailers, the phones will also be available at Verizon Wireless Communications stores across the U.S., and via the Verizon website. The CDMA version of the phone is not exclusive to Verizon, so it's entirely possible that other networks might start offering it as well.
Verizon is currently America's largest wireless provider. To date, the iPhone has only been available via AT&T, although the deal with Verizon has been in the works for some time now.