Originally Posted by iToddh
VZW has been known to ship earlier and sometimes the phones can be received by the customer a couple days before the release date. It happened with both iPhone preorder (4s and 5) and also the S3. I know this because I worked in Verizon retail store and saw people come in up to three days before launch getting their phones set up and contacts transferred. I know, I know a former Verizon retail employee is not the most believable source but take it for what it is. Lol. I don't work there anymore though.
Did not happen with the iPhone 4S or 5. I don't know where you saw that but I followed both releases very closely especially on MacRumors and no one got it early. Not even the reviewers.