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What to Expect if Verizon Picks Up the iPhone

Since the iPhone hit the market, the only way to get one has been to sign up with AT&T -- a move that didn't make everyone happy.

But that may be changing Tuesday with a big announcement expected from Verizon Wireless.

CNET Contributor Katie Linendoll, whose also a paid spokesperson for Polaroid and Lincoln cars, shared the latest on "The Early Show."

Linendoll said she'd be "highly surprised" if Verizon didn't make that announcement today.

She added, "I spoke to both sides and Apple and Verizon are declining to comment. But if you're on Verizon you're like, 'Oh, my gosh, I've heard this rumor for years.' Expect it to actually happen. I think Steve Jobs will show up for this announcement. Again 11:00 a.m., everyone on Verizon has got their fingers crossed."

"Early Show" co-anchor Erica Hill said, "This is huge, actually. Not just for the smartphone industry as a whole, but because it really opens up the choices that you have."

Linendoll said, "I think you have the ability to shift the landscape in terms of competition. (According to comScore, Inc., an Internet marketing research company) sixty-one point five million Americans are on smartphones, and that number is incredibly on the climb. (Google) Android just eclipsed the iPhone at the No. 2 spot and believe it or not, RIM (Research in Motion) who makes BlackBerry is in the (No. 1) hole. I think it's good for competition, for consumer. This could be detrimental to T-Mobile and Sprint. What are they going to do to keep up?"

And will people switch from AT&T to Verizon with the iPhone as an option?
"I think it's a lot to think about," Linendoll said. "I think initially, if you're in a contract, or you're in a corporate account or if you're on a family plan, that is really large early termination fee. The highest number was about $625 to make that switch. So there are a number of things to consider."

She added, "But also, AT&T has had a bad reputation for coverage area. So I think having AT&T -- if Verizon plays their cards right, people would love to make that switch, especially if the rumor is true, that it's coming with an unlimited data plan. That could be huge."

"Because AT&T recently changed their plan, so you have to pay for the amount of data you're going to use," Hill said. "Thirty bucks a month we're hearing from Verizon for unlimited data?"

Linendoll added, "And if they run it on 4G, which would be amazing, more people likely to switch over. That would be a huge added bonus."
Hill said, "If you have an AT&T iPhone you can't use it on the Verizon network."

Linendoll said, "Not to get totally techie, two totally different frequencies. If you have an AT&T iPhone, you can't switch it over to Verizon."

"You'll have to buy a new one," Hill said.

"Exactly," Linendoll said.

Hill joked, "Apple is really upset about that."

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