The Wall Street Journal predicted it, the forums have been talking about it, the Verizon community has been begging for it and finally on Jan. 11 Verizon announced the Apple iPhone 4 for their network. Steve Jobs was not present at the announcement.
This announcement comes shortly after The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where many speculated it was to be announced.
The phone will be available for preorder for existing Verizon customers on Feb. 3 and will be available to purchase Feb. 10. The prices are set at $199 for the 16gb and $299 for the 32gb with a two-year contract. Many have been waiting for this day to come and it has been over nine months in the making.
Although many thought Verizon would have been a better suitor for the original iPhone, but were “never in the running” said, former Verizon CEO, Ivan Seidenberg, in a Bloomberg interview.
“Apple was more focused on a single technology, the Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM) technology, they choose AT&T.” Seidenberg said.
The phone itself is almost identical except for the minor cosmetic differences. They moved the antenna and removed the sim card slot, and changed the chipset to work with Verizon’s Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) network.
The Verizon iPhone also debuted a new firmware 4.2.5 that will allow the phone to act as a wireless hotspot that will permit you to connect up to five devices to the wireless network. Although prices have not been announced, Verizon charges an additional $20 a month to use the hotspot feature.
But where the difference lies is in the network. Many have complained about AT&T’s network for being overloaded and regretfully unreliable. But the question is how will Verizon’s network hold up? Another difference is that AT&T’s GSM network can handle data and voice at the same time where Verizon’s cannot.
This announcement comes with a bittersweet twist, an iPhone announcement usually comes in June and a release in July. Many are asking if they should get the phone now and go ahead with two years with the phone. But they could wait and see what gets announced in June. The uncertainty comes in because we do not know if the Verizon iPhone is on the same product refresh as the AT&T flavor.
Current Verizon customers who purchased phones between Nov. 26 and Jan. 10 are eligible to receive a $200 debit card when they buy an iPhone 4 at full retail price by Feb. 28 and return their phone. But considering full retail price is $649.99 and $749.99 those who did buy a new phone and are still within the 30-day return period, and are considering buying an iPhone 4, should return their phone and wait till the 10 of Feb.
The Verizon iPhone is a blessing to those who have been with Verizon and wanting the best smart phone on the market. But with a new product refresh potentially coming with bigger and better features coming, should you buy or no? That is the question.