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Apple begins shipping Verizon iPhone 4 web orders one week early

Apple has started shipping the first online orders for the new Verizon Wireless iPhone 4, a week earlier than it initially estimated.

Initial orders placed on February 9 were slated for delivery "on or before February 18," but shipping notices are now being sent out, specifying a "delivers by" date of February 16th.

Apple reportedly stockpiled an initial production of 2 million CDMA iPhone 4 units in December and January, reserving an unknown proportion of the initial batch for Verizon to offer to its existing customers as pre-orders February 3. That initial batch was sold out on the first day.

Apple began taking web orders on the 9th, offering either reserved in-store pickup or free delivery for those willing to wait a week or two for the new model to ship and arrive. Initial orders estimated a five day shipping delay after the ship date.

A more efficient ordering process that appeared to capably handle the demand for the new carrier prevented the long lines that dogged the initial release of iPhone 4 last summer on AT&T.