NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Verizon ( VZ) will begin taking pre-orders for the Apple ( AAPL) from existing customers beginning at 3 a.m. ET on Feb. 3, a countdown clock on the company's Web site shows.

On the Verizon Wireless iPhone launch Web site, existing subscribers are asked to come back on Feb. 3 at 3 a.m. ET. That specific time was set to ensure all areas of the continental U.S. reflect Feb. 3 as the current date.

Verizon Wireless is calling it an "exclusive opportunity" for current customers to claim their iPhone 4 from a reserved quantity before the handset is made available to everyone else.

Like rival AT&T ( T), Verizon will offer the subsidized iPhone 4 16-gigabyte model for $199 with a two-year activation. Existing Verizon Wireless subscribers will need to verify they are eligible for an upgrade to the iPhone.

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This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.