Verizon Wireless plans to sell Apple's iPhone for as low as $200 starting next month, putting the smartphone at the center of its high-stakes battle with AT&T for wireless customers.
Verizon Wireless and Apple today announced that the iPhone 4 will be available on the Verizon Wireless network beginning on Thursday, February 10. Qualified Verizon Wireless customers will be given the opportunity to pre-order iPhone 4 online on February 3, ahead of general availability.
"We are pleased to introduce millions of wireless users to the industry leading iPhone 4 on the nation?s most reliable network," said Lowell McAdam, president and chief operating officer of Verizon. "This is an important step for the industry as two great companies join forces to give wireless customers one of the most important technological additions to the mobile landscape this century."
"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. "We have enormous respect for the company Verizon has built and the loyalty they have earned from their customers."
iPhone 4 will be available on the Verizon Wireless network beginning Thursday, February 10 for a suggested retail price of $199.99 for the 16GB model and $299.99 for the 32GB model with a new two year customer agreement. iPhone 4 will be available at Verizon Wireless Communications Stores, online at www.verizonwireless.com/iphone, at Apple Retail Stores, at the Apple Store (www.apple.com) and at Apple Authorized Resellers.
The prices are similar to what AT&T charges for those models.
Nonetheless, it's not clear how many people will flee from AT&T and other carriers.
Verizon's iPhone version will work only on the carrier's current "3G" network even though the carrier has fired up a faster "4G" network in many cities.
Verizon did not immediately say whether it will opt to give iPhone customers unlimited data plans. AT&T recently ended an unlimited plan in favor of a cap on monthly data usage.
This summer, AT&T could get another competitive advantage, when Apple is expected to debut a new iPhone model.
Verizon's iPhone 4 is identical in function to AT&T's but it will additionally be able to act as a portable Wi-Fi "hot spot," connecting up to five laptops or other devices to Verizon's 3G network through Wi-Fi.