Verizon passed on the opportunity to announce that it's going to start offering the Apple iPhone 4 at the Consumer Electronics Show, but the announcment may come next week, and the launch is supposedly going to be in early February.
Verizon has invited joirnalists to an event on Tuesday, Jan. 11. Inside sources have told the Wall Stree Journal that the carrier is going to unveil its version of the iPhone at this event.
In addition, employees at Apple stores have allegedly been told that they can not go on vacation on Feb. 1 - 3. In the past, the company has created "blackout" days like this only when a large product launch is in the offing.
Apple always does all it can to keep the details on all its upcoming products under wraps, but leaks, rumors, and speculation all point to Verizon debuting a version of the iPhone 4 in the near future.
This device is expected to be very similar to the version that is already available from AT&T, but it might include support for Verizon's nascent 4G network. If true, this new version would be be able to transfer data much faster than the current one.
A Big Deal
Back before the launch of the very first iPhone, an agreement was forged that made AT&T the sole U.S. provider for this model. However, in the last few months, quite a few unconfirmed reports have indicated that this deal is coming to an end soon.
These reports are controversial, as many have pointed out that Apple's and AT&T's exclusivity agreement isn't supposed to be over until 2012.
Still, many mobile industry watchers believe that Apple needs to make its smartphone more widely available if it expects to compete with devices running Android OS. In the last year or so, all of the top U.S. carriers have introduced models running this operating system from Google, and many of these have sold very well.
Verizon has more subscribers that AT&T does, so if this carrier launches Apple's smartphone the number of potential customers in the U.S. would more than double.
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