Today, Verizon joins AT&T in offering Apple's (news, site) iPhone. But did the launch event offer any twists and turns?

The Worst Kept Secret

The world has known for ages that iPhone was coming to Verizon and today was the day for the formal announcement. Verizon held a brief event to mark this mobile occasion as Americans now have a choice of provider for Apple's coveted device (joining most other regions that have had moderate competition for the device for some time).

Predictably, the long term effects should be to see the deal sending Apple's stock even higher and, presumably, seeing hordes of grumpy AT&T users swapping provider. But, it looks like they'll have to wait in line as Verizon customers get first dibs. Still, could Verizon throw anything interesting into the mix?

Talking the Talk

Having shown a raft of LTE (4G) devices at the recent CES show, Verizon is certainly pushing to the future, but for now users are getting the standard iPhone 4 model with FaceTime and other features running on the 3G network. Using Verizon's CDMA network, it appears that if the user is on a data connection and receives a call, then the data line will drop to let the call through.

It will be available from the 10 of February 2011, starting at US$ 199.99 for the 16Gb model and US$ 299 for the 32Gb edition on a two-year contract. Apple's Tim Cook turned up at the event to espouse the features of the device, but otherwise Apple was really just the cherry on a Verizon cake.

One slight tweak is a MiFI personal hotspot feature that allows users to connect up to five Wi-Fi devices. But, no big surprises, not even an announcement on the cost of tethering or roaming. At least America now has some choice in who to turn to for the iPhone and we can start looking forward to the iPad 2 and iPhone 5.