It's official: iPhone comes to Verizon
After years of speculation, Verizon executives finally told subscribers on Tuesday what they've been waiting to hear since 2007: the iPhone is coming to Verizon.
The deal ends AT&T's monopoly on selling the device in the United States, and gives a new option to people who would buy the iPhone but have qualms about AT&T. Anticipation for the device has run especially high in the Bay Area, where AT&T network issues are the stuff of legend.
At an event in New York, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said his company and Apple began talking about a partnership in 2008, then spent the past year resolving technical issues. The Verizon iPhone will operate on the CDMA network, while AT&T uses the more popular GSM network.
One key drawback to the CDMA network: it does not allow users to access the Internet during a phone call. AT&T customers can check their e-mail or use other data services while they're still on the phone.
Still, Verizon iPhone customers will get one feature long sought by customers of AT&T: the ability to 'tether' their phones. Using Verizon's HotSync service, customers will be able to share the phone's Internet connection with up to five Wi-Fi devices.
"Verizon Wireless customers have told us they can't wait to get their hands on iPhone 4, and we think they are going to love it," said Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, in a statement. "We have enormous respect for the company Verizon has built and the loyalty they have earned from their customers."
The Verizon iPhone will be available Feb. 10 for $199.99 for the 16GB model or $299.99 for the 32GB model with a two-year agreement. Pricing for data plans was not revealed.