The significance of the iPhone being no longer exclusive is a big deal, and is certain to help Apple out in the long run in terms of sales. The most suprising thing about this announcement is the timeline. The Verizon iPhone will be made available to current Verizon customers first on February 3rd with a pre-order being made available. But the iPhone won't be made available at Apple Stores until 02.10.11...no word on the white Verizon iPhone 4 though
This date is essentially toward the end of the 4 week vacation blackout for Apple Store employees.
According to BGR
"Apple...has blacked out employee vacation requests between February 3rd and February 6th — Thursday through Sunday. The four-day vacation freeze has been confirmed to be in effect in several regions in the United States."
I really doubt that a blackout for employee vacations would occur due to adding the 9 month old iPhone 4 to another wireless carrier. It now seems more likely that the iPad 2 will be released on Thursday, February 3rd! I think a February 1st announcement of the Apple iPad 2, to be made immediately available on Apples website to ship February 3rd.
Maybe we will be able to preorder the Verizon iPad 2 online on February 3rd as well.
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