It’s only been, what, four years since the iPhone was released? It seems that Apple and AT&T have finally ended the annoying exclusivity that has caused countless dropped calls. You can now get the iPhone on Verizon – or at least you can get it beginning Thursday, February 10. “Qualified” Verizon Wireless customers will be given the exclusive opportunity to pre-order the iPhone 4 online on February 3, ahead of general availability.
“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.”
iPhone 4 on Verizon Wireless is the same iPhone as AT&T except it will include new Personal Hotspot capabilities allowing customers to use iPhone 4 to connect up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices. Basically, you can turn your iPhone into a Mifi. Oh, and it runs on CDMA*. Nothing in the press release mentions Verizon’s new LTE network, so I believe that the iPhone, whether on AT&T or Verizon, is still 3G. If there’s an LTE announcement, I imagine it would come from Steve Jobs as part of whatever the iPhone 5 might be.
I have my fingers crossed that mass iPhone adoption on Verizon won’t turn “America’s Most Reliable Network” into another AT&T. This also levels the playing field. Verizon has led with amazing Android-based phones throughout 2010, but that’s all changing. Both AT&T and Verizon will have iPhones and some pretty impressive upcoming Android phones, including the Atrix (AT&T) and the Bionic (Verizon). Additionally, both carry the iPad, the Galaxy, and Verizon will also offer the Motorola Xoom tablet. It’s going to come down to price and speed, now that the choices aren’t so very different.
Should you rush out and get one? Well, for all the hype, remember that iPhone announcements tend to happen in June, with new phones in July. Your iPhone 4 might be old news in 6 months. And if you’re traveling to Europe? Whether you’re AT&T or Verizon, the iPhone is not the phone you want to purchase.
iPhone 4 will retail on Verizon for $199.99 (16GB) and $299.99 (32GB) 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.
*CDMA: you won’t be able to have a call going and surf the Internet on Verizon’s CDMA network, unlike AT&T’s network.