Verizon iPhone: no longer a myth, available in February

Apple iPhone 4Can you hear me now? Good, because the Verizon iPhone has finally made its public debut. Verizon made the announcement during its highly anticipated post-CES press conference in New York on Tuesday, noting that the device will be available for preorder starting February 3, and that the public will be able to pick it up from Verizon and Apple retail stores on February 10.

The phone being offered by Verizon is the same as the iPhone 4 that made its debut on AT&T in the summer of 2010, but with a slightly modified antenna and apparently no SIM slot. The device comes in 16GB and 32GB models for $199 and $299 with two-year contract, and can act as a 3G WiFi hotspot for up to five devices at a time (that's definitely something we can't do with our AT&T iPhones yet).

"If the press writes about something long enough and hard enough, eventually it comes true," Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said during the press conference. Apple COO Tim Cook was also present during the announcement, pointing out that the two companies have been working together since 2008.

There's one major downside to the Verizon iPhone, though: it's CDMA-only. "Why not go straight to the LTE mode?" Cook asked. "LTE would force design compromises we're not willing to make, and customers want the phone now."

Not only that, but Verizon refused to comment on when—if ever—the phone would become LTE compatible, and the company confirmed that users will not be able to use data and voice services at the same time—"consistent with other CDMA devices now." The company declined to talk about potential data caps or even plan pricing.

"It's all about getting it on Verizon," Cook added. "The customers who want it there will be willing to make these tradeoffs."

So far, it looks like the device is only available in black from Verizon, dashing rumors that the elusive white iPhone would be a Verizon-only exclusive. Verizon has posted a FAQ to its site for prospective iPhone customers, though there's little more there than what we heard during the event.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: iPhone, mobile phones, Verizon

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