It appears this Tuesday will be the day Verizon will never forget
This isn't official CES news but it is news many people have been waiting to hear for a long time. The iPhone is finally going to be available on Verizon.
Tech writers have received an invitation to a Verizon event for 11 AM on Tuesday at the Lincoln Center in New York. Most are speculating the topic is the iPhone announcement and although it's likely Steve Jobs will be there, the stage will be Verizon's. A report on All Things Digital includes the invitation and that's the only official confirmation we have that anything is really happening this time. There's plenty of foreshadowing to make me a believer this time. Verizon was selling WiFi iPads in their stores during the holidays, a move that got people used to the idea of Apple products in Verizon stores. And today AT&T began selling the iPhone 3GS for $49. Yesterday I speculated the AT&T pricing move likely was a fire-sale to purge old stock. Looks like that was correct.
This will end a 4-year period of exclusivity for AT&T with the iPhone. Over that time there have been many people who loved the phone but hated the service. An iPhone owner since the first one was introduced, I haven't had issues with AT&T service at home in Tampa Bay. I did experience some slowness when in New York over Thanksgiving and this week in Las Vegas the service has been hideously slow. I'm not sure that's AT&T's fault, however, because there has been so much RF zapping through the air with all the people at CES you could cook a potato by holding in up in the air.
It will be interesting to see how many people jump to the iPhone on Verizon right away. Lots of cool new phones were introduced this week and it may be prudent to wait. AT&T's service woes could have been caused by so many people sending so much iPhone data over their network. If this ends up being a "pass the baton" situation, Verizon could end up in the same doghouse as AT&T once the flood of old and new iPhone users joins their fray. Let's hope they're ready for it.
Oh, and there's just one more thing. We shouldn't expect a new hardware announcement here, other than changes necessary to get the iPhone on Verizon's network. The invitation would be from Apple if this was an iPhone 5 announcement.