Apple's solution to the perceived problem of iPhone bumpers designed for AT&T's iPhone 4 being used on the forthcoming Verizon iPhone has now become apparent. Meet the new universal iPhone bumper, which you may or may not have already seen in your local Apple store. While appearing largely identical to the original bumpers, there's now a larger cutout around the mute button. This change, of course, is necessary to accommodate its lower placement on Verizon's CDMA version of the handset.
If you're not a fan of Apple-made bumpers, have no fear. There will be no shortage of third-party companies cranking out GSM and CDMA compatible cases as well Verizon-specific iPhone 4 bumpers in the weeks and months ahead. Given the mind-blowing industry estimates of how many millions of iPhones will be sold this year as a result of Verizon's acquisition, the bumper business will likely be booming for quite some time.
Beginning February 10th, Apple - which still hasn't formally announced the new universal bumpers or even tweaked online descriptions of its cases - will make the iPhone available to Verizon customers for $199.99 (16GB) and $299.99 (32GB). Previous reports of Apple store employee vacation blackouts in early February have since been confirmed and now appear to directly correlate to the expected rush of traffic Apple stores will see when the Verizon iPhone debuts in less than three weeks.