Verizon iPhone Preorders Begin Tomorrow

Apple has announced that current Verizon Wireless customers can preorder the CDMA iPhone 4 starting tomorrow, a week before anyone can pick one up from Apple and Verizon online and brick-and-mortar stores.

Verizon, the largest wireless carries in the United States with more than 94 million customers, announced in January that it will sell the iPhone 4, ending over three years of AT&T exclusivity. Because of high demand, customer orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-serve basis, Apple said.

If you are a Verizon customer, you can preorder your iPhone with the carrier online through the Apple Store and from Verizon's site. If you are not a Verizon customer, you can purchase the phone on February 10 at Apple's retail stores and at more than 2,000 Verizon Wireless Communication Stores nationwide.

Verizon vs. AT&T

The iPhone 4 on Verizon will cost the same as it does on AT&T: $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB model with a new two-year agreement. The Verizon iPhone 4 has a nearly identical design and feature set as the AT&T iPhone 4, with a few slight differences.

The main difference between the Verizon and the AT&T iPhone is in the antenna chips. The Verizon iPhone is compatible with the 3G EV-DO standard, with data download speeds of up to 1.4Mbps. The AT&T iPhone is compatible with the UMTS standard, which can achieve download speeds of up to 3Mbps.

The Verizon iPhone won't allow you to browse the Web and talk on the phone at the same time because of limitations of the CDMA technology. The CDMA iPhone will only work in some 40 nations across the world that have some/limited CDMA network support, unlike the universally available 3G standard.

Verizon will charge iPhone 4 users $30 per month for unlimited data, same as other smartphones with the carrier. AT&T discontinued its $30 unlimited data plan last June, replacing it with a choice of 2 GB for $25 per month or 200 MB for $15 per month.

Hidden Fees and Gotchas

Unlike the AT&T iPhone, the Verizon iPhone can act as a WiFi hotspot for up to five devices simultaneously, and transform 3G data to WiFi signals for your iPad, laptop or netbook. This feature will cost $20 for 2 GB, plus $20 for each additional GB. The overage rate is twice what AT&T charges for wired tethering.

Visual voicemail will also run you an extra $3 per month (free on AT&T) and the off-contract iPhone 4 on Verizon costs $650 for 16 GB and $750 for 32 GB, compared with $599 and $699 on AT&T. Verizon charges $350 for early termination, minus $10 for every completed month of your contract. AT&T charges $325 with the same pro-rating.

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