No Surprise: The Verizon iPhone Launched Today, Gets a February Release Date

In a shock to absolutely no one, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam and Apple COO Tim Cook formally announced that Verizon will be selling a CDMA version of the iPhone 4.

Some expected Steve Jobs to be on stage for the announcement, but perhaps the Apple CEO didn’t want to run the risk of encountering travel delays forecast by many meteorologists. Regardless of which C-suite Apple exec did the formal announcing, it was the expected conclusion to months of speculation.

At the press conference to announce the launch, Cook said that it marked “just the beginning of a relationship between Apple and Verizon.” {Mashable}

The Verizon iPhone will be in stores February 10th, but existing customers can order from February 3rd. Costs are almost exactly the same as the AT&T version with a 16GB iPhone 4 coming in at $199.99 and a 32GB version costing $299.99, both with the purchase of a 2-year contract and data plan.

In addition to the unlimited data that Verizon currently offers (compared to AT&T’s capped 2GB), Verizon customers will be able to use their phone as a mobile hotspot.

Now that the iPhone is no longer a one-network pony in the US, will this mean a more equal competition with Android devices? It’s hard to say if the wider availability means the iPhone will take market share away from any of the smartphone competitors, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on Blackberry and Windows Phone 7 who seem more likely to suffer. Also worth watching, Verizon’s reliability. Some are wondering if the network, which still has a number of Droids and Blackberry devices to support, can hold up to the extra strain iPhone users are expected to place on data services.

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