Verizon now has the iPhone. Ho-hum.

Everyone else on the InterTubes is writing about the release of the Verizon iPhone, but I'm having a hard time working up much enthusiasm. Here's why:

  • Despite some early network capacity problems, my AT&T service has been excellent. I travel all over the country, including a lot of rural areas and big cities, and my AT&T iPhone works virtually everywhere. I get the fast 3G service almost everywhere. AT&T really has spent a lot of money upgrading their network, and it shows.
  • The AT&T network is GSM, unlike Verizon's CDMA network. The GSM network is able to handle voice and data traffic on the phone simultaneously, while the CDMA network can't do that. Is it a big deal? Maybe not, but I often put my phone on speaker while I check mail or look up something on the Web. Can't do that with the Verizon iPhone. And GSM phones work almost everywhere in the world. I know a lot of people don't care about that.
  • Why spend the money? Switching from AT&T to Verizon means getting a new phone, because of the differences between GSM and CDMA. Unless you have a fairly old AT&T contract, a switcher can expect to spend between $100 and $200 in penalties and will also have to pay for a new phone. For basically the same service. Now I do know at least one person who lives in an area where there is no AT&T service, and I know there are more, but these folks are switchers, they are brand new customers--a big difference.

Verizon is offering one thing you can't get from AT&T right now, which is the ability use your Verizon iPhone as a mini WiFi hotspot for up to 5 other devices. But there is a gotcha--while you are doing that, you can't make calls. And I suspect AT&T will finally allow tethering with less fuss, so that you can use your phone as a mobile modem for your laptop. The hotspot is not a big deal, as I can do that from my laptop.

I also expect AT&T to moderate some of their service plans to help keep customers. Competition is good--I'm glad Verizon has the iPhone now, as it will help keep AT&T more customer-focused. And remember: Apple offered the iPhone to Verizon first, and Verizon turned them down. Let's hope that whoever made that decision is repairing cellphones in Afghanistan.

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Apple is repeating history. When the first IPods came out,they were Apple only, and they sold millions.
When it was ported to windows and essentially opened up to the rest of the world the sales continued to increased dramatically. Soon new models fellowed, and apple built on the new openness of the device to expand its reach.
Now the IPhone is officially on both AT&T & Verizon, sales will continue to grow, However there is a serious complication this time. Its called Android.
Android already has a firm grip on the Verizon customer base. Many would-be Iphoneers will opt for Android instead. Apple had its chance While its lure that Apple went to Verizon first, Thats pretty much water under the bridge. While many will opt for the new V-IPhone, still many more will opt for Android.
Either way, theres no way Verizon can loose.
As for coverage, I have verizon, and have found it to very good coverage and when I finely go to a smartphone, I will go android.

Ken Lawson
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