Verizon Buying Up iPhone-Related Domains [Update]
Verizon appears to be buying up Verizon iPhone-related domain names from their previous owners. While doing some research for today’s earlier story on the appearance of Verizon iPhone 4 accessories, we discovered that a company called “Verizon Trademark Services LLC” now owns both “iphoneonverizon.com” as well as “iphoneforverizon.com.” The same company also owns “verizon.com,” suggesting that it is indeed affiliated with the wireless provider.
The individual who once owned both domains in question, Jim Benton of HolyShnikes.com, also owns the variations “iphoneonsprint.com,” “iphoneontmobile.com,” and even “iphoneonatt.com.” All of these pages — including the ones that Verizon bought — are basically paid link farms designed to generate advertising profits thanks to their relatively high placement on iPhone-related search results. Verizon hasn’t done anything with its new sites yet, which isn’t surprising, as it probably doesn’t want to draw attention to the acquisitions. “iPhone Verizon” is now the second suggested search term on Google when just “iPhone” is entered, after “iPhone 4.”
Other domains that Big Red would probably want, including “verizoniphone.com,” seem to have already been snatched up by squatters with thousands of other registrations; presumably they’ll either be sold or populated with paid content once the handset is announced (numerous sources have indicated a Q1 launch).
Update: MacRumors is reporting — and we’ve verified — that these sales actually went down way back in November 2008. Like everyone else, we’re still convinced that a Verizon iPhone is coming very soon, but these URL acquisitions say nothing about the timing. However, those accessories we saw yesterday? That’s another story…