After more than three years of AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) exclusivity, Verizon Wireless' (Basking Ridge, NJ, USA) iPhone finally goes on sale today in the U.S. After years of pent-up demand from its customers, Verizon has seen very strong pre-launch demand for Apple's handset. Analysts predict, on average, that Verizon could sell more than 12 million units this year.
Early reviews of this model have found voice and data performance better than AT&T's, however the widely reported "death grip" antenna problems found in the previous model may still exist. First impressions from the blogosphere claim gripping the unit in a certain way causes signal strength to drop, a potential flaw of the external antenna design.
The company began accepting pre-orders for existing customers one week ago, but quickly cut off sales during the first day, completely selling out of the inventory it had set aside. This shattered Verizon's previous launch day handset sales record, and did so in only two hours.
Verizon is charging $199.99 for the 16 gigabyte model, when paired with a two-year service contract.
Until today, the iPhone has been available in the U.S. only on AT&T's network. Many customers were outraged by poor performance, and complained about the quality and speed of their network.
Verizon Wireless and AT&T are the number 1 and 2 phone companies in the U.S. Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications Inc. (New York) and Vodafone Group Plc (London).