Apple's popular smartphone comes to its second mobile service carrier.

 After months (years) of rumors, Apple confirmed Tuesday that the iPhone will be coming to the Verizon Wireless network. A slightly altered iPhone 4 will be available on Thursday, February 10, according to an Apple press release, with pre-order beginning on February 3 for certain Verizon Wireless customers before general availability. As well as coming with the iPhone 4 features that AT&T customers have grown acclimated to, including Retina display and FaceTime video calling, the Verizon version will include Personal Hotspot. This capability will create a Wi-Fi connection for customers to connect up to five devices to the Internet.

This announcement brings industry conjecture to a close, the bulk of which was founded upon Verizon’s breadth of network and number of subscribers. “We are pleased to introduce millions of wireless users to the industry leading iPhone 4 on the nation’s most reliable network,” said Lowell McAdam, president and chief operating officer of Verizon. “This is an important step for the industry as two great companies join forces to give wireless customers one of the most important technological additions to the mobile landscape this century.”

The iPhone's appearance was a long time coming. “Verizon Wireless customers have told us they can't wait to get their hands on iPhone 4, and we think they are going to love it,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s chief operating officer. “We have enormous respect for the company Verizon has built and the loyalty they have earned from their customers.”

But though Verizon has given many of their subscribers what they requested, the plans and features available for the phone was compared between the two mobile service carriers by Engadget. Using Verizon’s current smartphone pricing as a model, Engadget leans favor towards the veteran iPhone carrier - AT&T offers early upgrades, global roaming, and simultaneous voice and data on 3G. However, Personal Hotspot will give Verizon customers a mobile hotspot option, a definite advantage which may or may not outweigh AT&T’s features. Exact pricing was not released at this time.

By Ivory King