At midnight on Friday, Verizon published a teaser splash page on its website to promote the forthcoming launch of the Verizon iPhone. In less than one week, preorders for the Verizon iPhone will commence. And according to the new page, Verizon customers can make their long awaited purchase at 3:00 am EST on February 3rd.

Although Verizon had previously notified business customers of the middle-of-the-night launch, the freshly unveiled webpage is the first time Verizon has openly plugged the 3:00 am launch to the masses. Verizon is even doing so with an obligatory countdown clock that heralds the forthcoming - and long awaited - arrival of Apple's hugely popular touchscreen smartphone on a carrier that isn't AT&T.

So why 3:00 am, you ask? On the surface, it's all about fairness. 3:00 am EST represents the earliest possible time that February 3rd has officially arrived across the entire continental United States. But the truth may very well be that a late night roll out reduces the chances of Verizon's website crashing when the flood gates initially open. After all, millions of Verizon customers are expected to purchase iPhones within the next 30 days - a massive number of which will likely do so at the earliest possible opportunity. For this reason, the Verizon website reminds visitors that the Verizon iPhone 4 will only be available on a "first come, first serve" basis.

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