Verizon confirmed it would begin selling Apple's iPhone on February 10 to U.S. consumers, ending AT&T's exclusive iPhone partnership and opening up opportunity for iOS game developers to reach many more users.
The mobile carrier will sell the 16GB version of Apple's iPhone 4 next month beginning at $199, requiring a new two-year activation and data plan, according to the company. A 32GB version will sell for $299 plus a two-year service contract.
"Qualified" Verizon customers will be able to preorder the phone beginning February 3, ahead of the phone's general release.
Like AT&T's iPhone, Verizon's will contain Apple's A4 chip, a three-axis gyro and touch capabilities that have helped make the device gaming-friendly. Verizon's iPhone 4 will also sport a new Personal Hotspot feature that allows users to turn the phone into a hotspot for up to five wi-fi devices.
A report in The Wall Street Journal rumored last week that Verizon would announce
iPhone support today.
AT&T has had an exclusive agreement with Apple to carry the iPhone since the mobile's 2007 debut. The deal with Verizon expands the iPhone's availability to a market of roughly 93 million Verizon subscribers and offers another option to potential U.S. iPhone customers who don't want to sign up with AT&T.
AT&T currently enjoys exclusive access to roughly 15 million million iPhone subscribers in the U.S., but analysts expect Verizon support for the phone could cause anywhere from 1 to 6 million of those subscribers to change their service provider.
The 2008 debut of the App Store opened up the floodgates for app and game developers. The store now hosts more than 356,000 apps, over 59,000 of which are games, according to Mobclix