Wow. Wow. Three little letters, and just one single word. It's actually difficult to think of any other way to express how we feel about this launch. From day one, when the original iPhone launched on AT&T, people immediately began asking one simple question: "Will it work on Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile or any other network?" As Verizon
grew and became known as America's most reliable network, not to mention the network with the largest amount of 3G coverage, people began to shift that question. It soon became: "When is the iPhone coming to Verizon?"
And then the rumors started. It was said that Verizon had first dibs on claiming the original iPhone
, but they wouldn't agree to all of Apple's terms. So they missed that shot, and AT&T took advantage. But the rumors persisted. For years, people kept saying that "the next iPhone" would be "the one" that finally supported Verizon. And then Verizon started an LTE network, and people immediately assumed that the iPhone would jump over now that it could claim a 4G network.
Today, an odd mishmash of events happened, with some rumors proving true and some proving very inaccurate. Here's what happened: Verizon Wireless introduced the iPhone 4 for their network. Not Apple, Verizon. That's the first oddity. How on Earth did Apple allow Verizon Wireless to introduce this phone? Also, Steve Jobs made no appearance, only Apple's Tim Cook. Verizon also made clear that it will not support LTE. This is also strange. VZW spent all of last week at CES drumming up hype for their 4G LTE network, and now their flagship phone won't support it. That's definitely interesting.
The Verizon iPhone 4 also has a different antenna design, but it's claimed to be one that supports CDMA. It's still unclear if this design addresses the "dropping bars" issue seen on AT&T's version, but it's different regardless. Time will tell, certainly. The Verizon iPhone 4, aside from supporting CDMA, is practically no different than the AT&T version outside of that antenna issue and using a CDMA radio inside. There's no SIM card slot, so this is no world phone. It won't work in Europe or other nations that lack CDMA coverage, so that could be a real problem for those who travel internationally often.
So, the details: pre-orders for existing Verizon Wireless customers will start on Feb. 3rd, with sales to begin on Feb. 10th. The 16GB model will sell for $199.99 on a 2-year contract, while the 32GB model will sell for $299.99. There's no VCAST or any other Verizon software, so it's clear that Apple won that battle. One major software difference: Mobile Hotspot. The Verizon iPhone 4 will turn into a personal hotspot, allowing up to five Wi-Fi devices to connect and use the iPhone's 3G radio to connect to the Internet. We're sure that'll cost extra, but pricing details aren't available just yet.
The wondering is over, and the reality is sinking in: the iPhone 4 will soon be available from two carriers in America. It's a dream come true for some, but it's not perfect. The Verizon model won't work in many overseas countries, and if Apple maintains their yearly refresh cycle, the fifth-generation iPhone will ship this summer. That could leave a lot of early adopters on VZW in a real pinch. Will they be able to upgrade to a new iPhone in July or August if they buy an iPhone 4 next month? Who knows, but it's a real question that you should seriously be curious about if you're on Verizon.
We also have to wonder what affect this launch will have on both VZW's and AT&T's networks. Will Verizon's networks take a hit when it gets more crowded? Will AT&T's network get better if people jump ship? It'll obviously take a number of months to tell, but we have to believe that both networks will see some impact in one way or another.
At any rate, Verizon has the iPhone, and AT&T has finally lost their exclusivity. It's a great day for consumers who love competition, and we suspect this battle is just getting started. Will the next iPhone hit both carriers at the same time? Will they battle on price? We can't wait to find out!
Verizon Wireless & Apple Team Up to Deliver iPhone 4 on Verizon
BASKING RIDGE, New Jersey and CUPERTINO, California—January 11, 2011—Verizon Wireless and Apple® today announced that the iPhone® 4 will be available on the Verizon Wireless network beginning on Thursday, February 10. Qualified Verizon Wireless customers will be given the exclusive opportunity to pre-order iPhone 4 online on February 3, ahead of general availability.
iPhone 4 is the most innovative phone in the world, featuring Apple’s stunning Retina™ display, the highest resolution display ever built into a phone resulting in super crisp text, images and video, and FaceTime®, which makes video calling a reality. iPhone 4 on Verizon Wireless will also include new Personal Hotspot capabilities allowing customers to use iPhone 4 to connect up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices.
“We are pleased to introduce millions of wireless users to the industry leading iPhone 4 on the nation’s most reliable network,” said Lowell McAdam, president and chief operating officer of Verizon. “This is an important step for the industry as two great companies join forces to give wireless customers one of the most important technological additions to the mobile landscape this century.”
“Verizon Wireless customers have told us they can't wait to get their hands on iPhone 4, and we think they are going to love it,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s chief operating officer. “We have enormous respect for the company Verizon has built and the loyalty they have earned from their customers.”
iPhone 4 features a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, HD video recording, Apple’s A4 chip, a 3-axis gyro and a beautiful glass and stainless steel design like no other mobile phone. iPhone 4 also comes with iOS 4, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, which includes multitasking, folders, Game Center, AirPlay® and AirPrint wireless printing. iPhone 4 customers have access to the world’s most popular App Store? with more than 300,000 apps available in an incredible range of 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health and reference.
Pricing & Availability
iPhone 4 will be available on the Verizon Wireless network beginning Thursday, February 10 for a suggested retail price of $199.99 for the 16GB model and $299.99 for the 32GB model with a new two year customer agreement. iPhone 4 will be available at more than 2,000 Verizon Wireless Communications Stores nationwide, online at www.verizonwireless.com/iphone, at Apple Retail Stores, at the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), at Apple Authorized Resellers, and by calling 1-800-2 JOIN IN.