Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011 | 11:25 a.m.
Just days after Verizon packed up its booth at the 2011 Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, the company made its much anticipated and highly speculated iPhone announcement today.
Apple and Verizon executives announced at a news conference today in New York that the iPhone 4 will be available on the Verizon Wireless network beginning Feb. 10. Some qualified customers will be able to get their hands on the phone as early as Feb. 3, the company said.
Tech bloggers had been teasing that the announcement might come during Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg’s opening day CES keynote on Friday, but it never did. Other bloggers said it wouldn’t happen because Apple doesn’t attend the annual show.
Instead, the company announced a tablet computer and phone to run on Google’s Android 3.0, also known as Honeycomb. The Motorola Bionic 4G phone will be available later this year, while the Motorola Xoom tablet will be available as early as February, executives said.
The Motorola Xoom tablet took the top honor of Best in Show at the CNET Best of CES awards Saturday.
Since Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in January 2007, rumors and release dates have floated for years on when the device would come to the Verizon network. Today’s announcement ends the exclusive contract AT&T has had will Apple since the iPhone launched.
“Verizon Wireless customers have told us they can't wait to get their hands on iPhone 4, and we think they are going to love it,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s chief operating officer. “We have enormous respect for the company Verizon has built and the loyalty they have earned from their customers.”
The iPhone 4 features a 5-megapixel camera with a LED flash, HD video recording, Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities for up to five devices and access to more than 300,000 apps through Apple’s App Store.