Sunday, January 16, 2011

VZW's iPhone Takes Flight - well, sort of...

Perhaps a better title for this post might've been 'Off & Running' as I've got a few reservations about switching to Verizon just yet. This past Tuesday Verizon announced it's (official) plans to carry the Apple iPhone, a move long awaited by current iPhone users, previously hand-cuffed to AT&T for wireless service over the past 5 years.

What this means for iPhone users is that there's finally competition in the marketplace, surely benefitting longtime users of the device.

Verizon is beginning to stock it's stores & warehouses with a newly developed CDMA network version of Apple's iPhone 4 (GSM-based network versions of iPhone 4 have been available via AT&T since early 2010) & are expected to release the smartphone in early February - at least that's the word we all got in Tuesday's press event.

I was certainly among the masses longing for the eventual announcement (& subsequent release details) by Verizon, I think the feature I most looked forward to was the ability to maintain a data signal while below street level in underground subway tunnels. Even still, I think I'm content to remain with AT&T for my wireless service for the time being for 2 major (& 1 minor) reasons.

#1 Verizon's version of iPhone 4 WILL NOT be a 4G device: With all the advertising Verizon has thrown our way, touting it's 4G devices in the works, I was hoping their version of the iPhone 4 would be among those, wishful thinking I soon discovered. It appears Verizon's big push was solely to get an iPhone in their lineup. Nonetheless, I'm super glad they managed to do so.

#2 Apple's special development of the device as a
CDMA-based network device (for use on Verizon's wireless network): Though in essence a stronger network in many regards, it tends to restrict/reduce data usage on mobile handsets when calls are in progess: This means no surfing the net, receiving notifications, or undergoing any task requiring use of a wireless data signal until completing a call (a pretty major flaw for anyone who's grown accustomed to doing so for years with AT&T's GSM-based network version of the device).

The same would apply towards what would have been one of the VZW version's best features over AT&T's - the internal mobile hotspot allowing for internet connection for up to 5 devices. Because of network lmitations, you wouldn't be able to get a call while transmitting a data signal. I wonder how long this will be a drawback of the current Verizon/CDMA network technology, hopefully the issue will be resolved by the next model. Speaking of which...

#3 ...iPhone 5 (
or whatever Apple decides to call it *this is the minor reason*) We all know it's coming, the question is when???: The spring is approaching & that's generally the time that Apple likes to announce their upcoming releases for the summer & early fall & they're clearly not shy about releasing 2 successive models of a device in less than 2 years time, especially with Verizon's Droid series of phones (running Google's Android OS) closing-in on their market, fast! I don't think it would real ly smart to get a VZW iPhone now only to be clamoring for yet another new phone if the 5 drops this summer...

Aside from those flaws, it appears that Verizon's version of the smartphone will for the most part operate pretty much the same as AT&T's iPhone 4 & will essentially be a carbon copy (as far as it features operating system is concerned). With that in mind, it looks as though the table is set for the 1st 4G iPhone (iPhone 5) to be released simultaneously on both carriers (& who knows? Maybe even more).

So I'll be waiting on that particular series of events to unfold & will once again compare the up/downside of switching my wireless service provider to Verizon at that point. Though Verizon's version isn't quite the device I was hoping for from Apple, I remain ecstatic that AT&T's long-standing exclusivity rights have since lapsed & now, the world has far greater access to this genius of a device. Long live the Apple, lol...

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