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Thursday, February 03, 2011, 12:45 pm PT (03:45 pm ET)

Early bird Verizon iPhone 4 orders already shipping

Verizon subscribers who wasted no time ordering an iPhone 4 on Thursday have already received notification that their order has shipped, though whether the handsets will be delivered before the Feb. 10 launch date remains to be seen.

Multiple readers contacted AppleInsider on Thursday to share that their order of a CDMA iPhone 4 has already shipped, just hours after the handset first went on sale. Preorders for the CDMA iPhone 4 are currently only available for existing Verizon customers.

While the shipments are already headed out a week before the official Feb. 10 launch date, it is by means no sign that the devices will be delivered to customers early. When the iPad launched last April, the devices were held for days at the UPS Worldport hub in Louisville, Ken., to meet the April 3 launch date.

However, when the iPhone 4 debuted on AT&T's network last summer, some customers received early deliveries of the handset.

Verizon iPhone 4 preorders will open to all qualified customers next Wednesday, Feb. 9. And the device will officially go on sale at Apple and Verizon retail stores at 7 a.m. local time on Thursday, Feb. 10.

Some customers also reported issues attempting to order their CDMA iPhone 4 on Thursday, with Verizon's website allegedly returning error messages for some customers. Technical issues have been a regular occurrence when a new version of Apple's popular smartphone goes on sale.