WASHINGTON, February 10, 2011 - The Verizon iPhone debuted in stores across the country Thursday, ending more than four years of exclusivity between Apple and AT&T for the widely popular smartphone.
Verizon offered the iPhone for pre-order on February 3 to existing Verizon customers only, but ended the promotion later that day after unusually high demand. As of Thursday, the iPhone is available to non-Verizon customers. Walmart also announced it will begin selling the iPhone in 600 of its retail stores February 1o, joining Best Buy, Apple Stores , and Verizon Stores as destinations consumers can pick up the newly available smartphone.
Industry observers have anticipated an exodus of AT&T customers unhappy with the carrier's reputation for dropped calls to migrate to Verizon upon the arrival of the iPhone. Seemingly in anticipation of significantly higher data traffic loads, Verizon tweaked its data policies last week to send leaner traffic across its network and to allow it to throttle users who download an inordinately high amount of data.
The Verizon-compatible iPhone 4 is the exact same size, weight, and dimensions as the AT&T version, with only minor cosmetic differences. The operating system, user interface, and apps are all the same.