Verizon iPhone 4 pre-ordering closed; first handsets already shipping

Existing Verizon customers angling for an iPhone 4 will have to have got in early, as without warning the carrier has closed pre-orders for the new CDMA smartphone. Sales of the handset kicked off yesterday for those already loyal to Verizon, with general availability not until February 10.

We're already hearing from speedy pre-order customers that Verizon is sending out shipment notifications, suggesting the carrier had its warehouse teams standing by to get the iPhone 4 out of the door. It's too early for deliveries, of course, but while you're waiting – either for a knock on the door or for February 10 – you could always have a read through our full Verizon iPhone 4 review.

Meanwhile, Verizon is ramping up the assault on AT&T, not satisfied with undercutting its data rates but throwing in some seriously heavy sarcasm about its rival's voice call quality. Check out the video below: