Verizon iPhone 4 shipments on track for early Feb. 7 delivery

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Customers who were among the first to order a Verizon-compatible iPhone 4 began receiving notifications on Friday that their handset is scheduled for delivery on Monday, Feb. 7.

The deliveries through FedEx suggest that the highly anticipated CDMA variant of Apple's iPhone 4 could arrive as early as next Monday. However, it's also possible that Apple could require that the packages be held until the official launch date of Feb. 10, a tactic the company has used before.

Customers first began to receive word on Thursday, soon after preorders began, that their Verizon iPhone 4 had shipped. But exact details on the shipments, including tracking numbers, were not provided until later.

Those who pounced on iPhone 4 preorders when they first became available at 3 a.m. Thursday lucked out, as both Verizon and Apple were forced to stop taking orders after the handset's initial allotment sold out by 8:10 p.m. The carrier issued a press release on Friday to declare that sales of the iPhone 4 had broken the company's records within the first two hours of availability.

Initial preorders were limited only to existing, qualified Verizon customers. Starting Feb. 9, all qualified customers will be able to order a Verizon iPhone 4 through Apple's online store for delivery or in-store pickup.

Whether or not early bird orders are delivered ahead of time, the Verizon iPhone 4 officially goes on sale at 7 a.m. local time on Feb. 10. It will be available in Apple's U.S. retail stores, as well as more than 2,000 Verizon Wireless Communication Stores across the country.