Aside from the iPhone 4 itself, talk about the “Verizon iPhone 4” has probably been one of the most rumored rumors about a smartphone in the history of smartphones. Today, however, the story has been set straight. No longer is a Verizon iPhone 4 a rumor: It is a reality.
Image credit: Engadget.
At a press conference in New York City, Verizon and Apple revealed a CDMA version of the iPhone 4 will be available to Verizon customers starting February 10, 2011. (Current Verizon customers can pre-order beginning Feb 3.)
You blokes not living in the United States must be thinking “So what, what is the big deal?” The thing is whereas most places in the world people buy phones outright at their full price, here in the USA phones are typically bought at a subsidized price. People sign two-year contracts with service provides and in exchange get huge discounts on their phones. Because of this system, the phones people buy are typically limited to the phones carried by their service provider. The “big deal” is previously in the USA iPhone 4 was only available on AT&T; now iPhone 4 is available on Verizon Wireless, too. That means a lot more people will have the chance to get the iPhone 4 since Verizon Wireless is the largest cell phone service provider in the USA. (AT&T is second.) Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
That, then, brings up the question: “Why can’t people just buy the iPhone 4 from AT&T, unlock it, and use it on a different carrier?” You can do that, yes. However, here in the USA two out of the four major service provides use CDMA (Verizon Wireless and Sprint) while the other two – AT&T and T-Mobile USA – use GSM. (Only in America!) GSM phones cannot be used on CDMA networks while CDMA phones cannot be used on GSM networks. Verizon uses CDMA instead of GSM. So Verizon’s iPhone 4 is CDMA (i.e. doesn’t need a SIM card), as opposed to AT&T’s iPhone 4 which is GSM (i.e. needs a SIM card).
Anyway, according to reports, the Verizon iPhone 4 is not too majorly different than AT&T’s iPhone 4. Aside from the obvious CDMA vs GSM, the only other differences between the “two” phones are Verizon iPhone 4 has a WiFi hotspot app, its volume/menu buttons are moved slightly down, and Verizon iPhone 4 cannot use talk and data simultaneously.
Personally speaking, I can’t help but think “too little, too late”. First of all, Verizon’s iPhone 4 is not 4G compatible whereas new Verizon Android phones – iPhone’s most fierce competitors – are LTE compatible. More importantly, however, the Phone (2G/3G/3GS/4) has been around since 2007. Anyone that really wanted the iPhone has already moved to AT&T to get it. While sure there will be some people who will switch back to Verizon (Verizon’s network is rock-solid compared to AT&T’s), and sure there will be some current Verizon customers who will switch to the iPhone 4, Android handsets have been substituted for the iPhone 4 ever since Verizon’s multi-million dollar Droid Does campaign. In other words, I don’t expect the Verizon iPhone 4 to turn too many heads in terms of customers. However, what do I know? I am just a lowly blogger; time is the true judge.
Discuss, please. Let’s hear some iPhone bashing thoughts on the matter in the comments below!