Apple's Verizon iPhone announcement is expected to take place sometime before February 14 2011, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, but the CDMA smartphone won't be making its official debut at CES 2011 next week. Previous sources had suggested Apple would attempt to outshine the trade show by launching the much-anticipated Verizon iPhone; however, "a person familiar with Apple's plans who is not authorized to discuss them publicly" says the reveal isn't expected until after CES is finished.
However, while it's been suggested that AT&T subscribers would instantly flock to Verizon's arguably more stable network, industry sources don't believe that it is necessarily the case. AT&T's raised early-termination fees - almost doubled to $325 in June 2010 - and early upgrade offers for existing iPhone 4 buyers means many are locked into new, two-year agreements with the carrier that they'll likely be unwilling to break, especially given that they'd then need to buy a new Verizon-spec iPhone rather than simply use their existing handset.
Whether or not the Verizon iPhone uses LTE, as has been rumored, the network is expected to handle the ensuing data traffic far better than AT&T's track record. "Even if Verizon's iPhone customers go wild next year, [the carrier] can easily handle the capacity" Infonetics Research co-founder Michael Howard suggests, pointing to recent investments in high-capacity base stations.