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After long wait, Verizon will launch Apple's iPhone Feb. 10 -- 3G, not 4G

Vz-iphone

Hold the phone -- will the tech world have anything left to talk about?

Now that Verizon Wireless will carry Apple's iPhone 4, with sales starting Feb. 10th, the single largest persistent rumor in technology has evaporated.

The 16-gigabyte version of the phone will go on sale for $199 (with a two-year contract, price not yet disclosed).  As with AT&T, the 32-gigabyte version will cost $299 with a contract, and existing Verizon customers will get to order the phone starting a week before everyone else, on Feb. 3.

The Verizon iPhone will be essentially the same as the AT&T phone except for two key differences:

  • The Verizon phone will not allow users to use data services while making a phone call. In other words, if you're on the phone and want to look up a Web page, no dice. This is consistent with all of Verizon's CDMA phones.
  • Verizon iPhone users will be able to use their phones as wireless hotspots, probably for an additional monthly charge. Up to five devices will be able to connect to the hotspot.

Verizon Chief Executive Lowell McAdam took the stage in New York along with Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook to announce the device. 

Caveat emptor: The two said the Verizon iPhone would not work with Verizon's much-touted new 4G network.  "It would've forced design compromises we did not want to make," said Cook.  The phone will be 3G, and though the executives said there is now a multi-year partnership between Verizon and Apple, they declined to comment on when the next Verizon iPhone would be available. (With AT&T, a new iPhone has been released every summer since 2007).

Answering questions from the audience, Verizon Wireless Chief Executive Dan Mead said he was not worried about the phone's antenna creating signal problems like those seen with the AT&T phone last year. 

-- David Sarno

RELATED:

Verizon's 4G event at CES -- heavy on sound and fury, light on dates and prices

iPhone reception problem? Hold it differently, Apple says

Consumer Reports says it can't recommend the iPhone 4 because of antenna problem

Photo: iPhone 4 on Verizon's website.  Credit: Verizon Wireless

 
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