The Verizon iPhone 4 is set to finally make its debut on February 10th, but if you were planning to run out to your local Best Buy to snag a CDMA iPhone to call your own, you may be sorely disappointed. According to a source speaking to BGR, Best Buy won't be offering the Verizon iPhone, a claim which is seemingly backed up by leaked documents (the full text is below) which seem to encourage BBY employees to point out the VeriPhone's flaws and direct consumers to AT&T's model instead. Don't be too disappointed, though, because the very same tipster is reporting that Best Buy will have the "exclusive retail sale" rights for the HTC ThunderBolt, which could be launching as soon as the last week in February.
"Verizon’s entire presence at CES last week was focused on one thing and one thing alone: 4G. Its LTE network is now live in 38 markets and a flurry of 4G phones will launch in the coming months. But the iPhone… the smartphone millions of Verizon Wireless subscribers have been dying for… is a 3G device.
We knew Verizon’s iPhone 4 would be a CDMA phone for a number of reasons, but 3G is so 2010. Sprint launched its first 4G phone with minimal WiMAX coverage and it ended up being the fastest-selling phone in the carrier’s history. Now, we won’t see a 4G iPhone from Verizon until 2012. That means while millions of Android phones are surfing Verizon’s 4G airwaves later this year, iPhones will still be puttering along at EVDO speeds."
It's kind of strange that Best Buy is so vehemently anti-Verizon iPhone, but I suppose if a customer comes in with a case of iOS fever, they can try to prescribe an AT&T iPhone rather than lose a sale to a Verizon store. As for the ThunderBolt claim, it wouldn't be the first time that BBY has snagged the retail exclusive of a handset, so it's not terribly surprising. Both handsets are set to launch next month (probably), so I guess we don't have long to wait to see if this rumor turns out to be true.