Verizon has broken AT&T's exclusive hold on the iPhone in the U.S. and is looking to tempt some of the latter's customers with an attractive trade-in offer.
Verizon reportedly sent an e-mail to corporate customers with details of a trade-in credit option: bring Verizon an old iPhone bought through AT&T and you'll be rewarded with a handsome credit toward a Verizon iPhone. Verizon is offering $60 for an original 16GB iPhone, $105 for a 16GB iPhone 3G, $160 for a 32GB iPhone 3GS, $280 for a 16GB iPhone 4, and $360 for a 32GB iPhone 4.
A Verizon spokesperson says that anyone is eligible for trade-in credit for any phone and it's not specific to iPhones. The credit they will receive (in the form of a gift card) is based on the condition of the phone. Note, however, that using the gift card to purchase an iPhone means paying the full retail price instead of the subsidized $199 and $299 prices for the 16GB and 32GB iPhone models, respectively. The gift card can also be put toward a monthly wireless bill.
Trade-in offers usually pop up from retailers like Radio Shack, Best Buy, and Target whenever a new iPhone goes on sale--and are always available through the sites like Gazelle and NextWorth--but because there's only been one carrier in the U.S., we have yet to see two iPhone carriers battling directly for each other's customers.
Verizon also revealed details about the pre-order process for current Verizon customers. Customers have to place the order through their current account with the carrier online. The whole thing kicks off at 3 a.m. Eastern on February 3. Verizon warns that the supply of pre-order iPhones is limited, and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
Those who are not already a Verizon customer will have to wait until February 10, when the iPhone goes on sale to everyone.
Updated at 9:53 a.m. PT with more details about trade-ins from Verizon.