After the long wait for Verizon to get the iPhone, we are on the verge of that event becoming a reality. While the first sales will not be to non-Verizon customers, it will be to existing Verizon customers who want to get the iPhone in advance of the general public, almost like a reward for their loyalty. As with other new phones, Verizon will basically be taking orders and shipping them to the customers on February 10th or you can reserve them for in store pick up on that date or later. There is always the possibility that some phones would be delivered prior to that date.
Apple has announced that it will begin taking orders on February 9th which can then be shipped or reserved for you to pick up at a Verizon store. Since Apple will also be selling the Verizon iPhone, the in store pick will also include the Apple stores. Verizon online and in store sales will begin on February 10th and expectations are there will be some significant traffic on this new phone for Verizon. Just how large is something we will have to wait and find out. Estimates for the number of AT&T iPhone users leaving to move to Verizon has been widely guessed at and there is no consensus of the numbers.
Pricing for the Verison iPhone will be the same as it is at AT&T, so there is no difference there. Verizon will be providing the ability to have a mobile hotspot on the iPhone which AT&T does not have at the moment, but should in a few weeks as it is a software update for the wireless carriers to implement. There will be the obvious charges for this feature, which for Verizon will start at $20 per month.
The past problems with the antenna on the GSM iPhone 4 will not occur for Verizon as the CDMA version of the phone has redesigned the antenna location to minimize that problem. There are some differences between the two network phones such as the CDMA version does not let you talk on the phone and do other activities at the same time, while the GSM version does.
Selected Walmarts will also be selling the Verizon iPhone 4 so the number of locations is starting to grow. It is expected that all Walmarts will be selling the Verizon iPhone along with a number of other retailers after the first month of sales. Best Buy announced today they will be selling the Verizon iPhone in their stores on February 10th. Earlier indications were they intended to only sell the AT&T iPhone, so this is a reversal.
Expect to see lots of reporting on the Verizon iPhone sales for the next few weeks. At lease until the announcement for the iPad 2 comes out.