New York – Confirming widespread rumors, Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) on
Tuesday said it will begin selling Apple’s (NASD: AAPL) iPhone, beginning Feb. 10. Certain
customers will be able to pre-order the iPhone 4 online on Feb. 3. "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," said Lowell McAdam, the president and
COO of Verizon. Verizon will offer a 16GB iPhone 4G for $199 and a 32GB model
for $299, both tied to a two-year service contract.
Until now, AT&T has
served as the exclusive carrier of the device in the U.S.
that Verizon could sell 9-12 million iPhones this year, after AT&T sold an
estimated 14.5 million in 2010.
One feature that the Verizon iPhone will offer
that AT&T’s does not is the ability to use the smartphone as mobile
hotspot, allowing up to five computers or wireless devices to share its signal.
Bloomberg cited analysts who estimated that Verizon may spend $3 billion to $5
billion to subsidize the cost of the iPhone for its subscribers this year,
paying somewhere between $350 and $400 per iPhone customer.