Verizon asks iPhone crowd: 'Can you hear me NOW?'

Verizon takes swipe at AT&T in advance of iPhone launch

While Google and Microsoft in recent days have been exchanging untold thousands of nasty words over who's the bigger liar, liar, pants on fire, Verizon has chosen to use only one - spoken snidely - to poke a stick in the eye of AT&T.

(2011's 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries) 

"Yes, I can hear you now," smirks actor Paul Marcarelli, he of the (pick one: iconic, insufferable) Verizon Wireless campaign that elevated the question "Can you hear me now?" into the lexicon if not the rarified Madison Avenue air of "Where's the beef?" In the commercial, the "now" zinger follows a few loving images of the iPhone that next week will become available on Verizon's network after years of being relegated exclusively to AT&T's much maligned network.

Here's the new Verizon spot:

And here's one of the earlier versions:

Meanwhile, Verizon is hearing plenty from unhappy would-be customers who had trouble yesterday with the company's pre-order process, which reportedly "sold out" in a snap. (Don't they always? I mean what could be more embarrassing - if not damaging - than having to admit you opened up the virtual doors and had no trouble serving everyone who was waiting on line?)

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