Verizon’s iPhone 4 announcement event is taking place live today starting at 11:00am Eastern Time. We will be updating this story as the event takes place with live news.

11:29AM: Apple is focusing now on just getting an iPhone on Verizon, rather than trying to push the envelope with speed or features. Losing simultaneous voice/data is a tradeoff Verizon customers will just have to live with. And that’s it.

11:27AM: Verizon will be aggressively competing to bring customers over to its network.

11:24AM: This is confirmed to be a multi-year, non-exclusive contract between Apple and Verizon for the CDMA iPhone. The phone has been optimized to work on a CDMA EVDO network. It cannot do voice calls and data at the same time, apparently.

11:21AM: Apple didn’t go with LTE because it couldn’t make it happen at this point in time with the iPhone 4’s design. It’s not willing to commit to how long the iPhone 4 will be the lead iPhone on any network, or when LTE will happen.

11:19AM: Q&A with Tim Cook and Dan Dee. We’ll note at this point: it does seem sort of awkward today for Verizon to offer what’s basically last year’s iPhone 4 six months later for the same price, when a new model is coming mid-year.

11:17AM: New Wi-Fi hotspot feature will let you connect up to 5 devices through the iPhone. Awesome!

11:16AM: Meanwhile, no reference to LTE support for the Verizon iPhone 4. They’re still “building out the 3G network” as they’re rolling out 4G. Feb 3 preorder for existing customers. $200 for 16GB, $300 for 32GB. Two-year contract. February 10, anyone can order online, in Verizon stores, and in Apple Stores.

11:13AM: Dan Dee from Verizon out to discuss the launch. Says that the shipping and inventory systems at Verizon have been scaled up to handle the demand that’s anticipated, a clear jab at AT&T, which repeatedly failed to handle iPhone launches with issues all up the chain. Network is ready for the iPhone, has been tested and can handle it.

11:11AM: It has CDMA support, FaceTime, Retina Display – all the features that you’d expect. Note from iLounge: We’ve heard from sources that the new antenna design can lead to what’s being referred to as the “death hug” instead of the “death grip”—hold it in landscape mode to attenuate the signal. We’ll have to check this out.

11:09AM: Tim Cook from Apple takes the stage. Black iPhone 4 shown in image, slight differences in side metal.

11:08AM: iPhone 4 available early in February.

11:07AM: In 2008 discussions started about CDMA version of iPhone, and they spent a year testing it.

11:06AM: Discussing the “armada” of Verizon’s LTE devices, says they’re partnering now with giant Apple.

11:04AM: Suggests that the speed of Verizon’s LTE network is more akin to “6G” than “4G” in performance.

11:02AM: Boasts that “network quality is the hallmark of the Verizon brand,” and says two innovators are coming together. Talking up Verizon’s varied broadband assets. Looks like a series of verbal delays here so that the iPhone can officially be announced at 11:11AM on 1/11/11 rather than, say, 11:04.

11:00AM: Lowell Macadam, Verizon Wireless CEO, takes the stage. Initially hints at confirming long-awaited announcement of iPhone coming to Verizon.

Several pre-event notes: rumors swirling prior to the event suggested that Verizon may receive an exclusive on the as-yet-unreleased white iPhone 4, that the company may receive a CDMA/GSM/LTE “4G world phone” that’s more powerful than the versions Apple and AT&T have previously been selling, and that the price of the new version may be adjusted.

Charles Starrett

Charles Starrett was a senior editor at iLounge. He's been covering the iPod, iPhone, and iPad since their inception. He has written numerous articles and reviews, and his work has been featured in multiple publications.