The big news is in: Verizon is getting the iPhone and it’s arriving February 10th. For years now, AT&T has been the go-to network if you wanted to play with Apple’s flagship mobile device. Interestingly, due to their exclusivity, AT&T’s iPhone network suffered under the staggering demands of users and may even look forward to having Verizon take some of their customers off their backs so that they can better serve what subscribers they’ll keep (or at least not swell that much more.)
Stories are running across numerous venues about what the announcement means, but the contrasting details are the easiest to come by. According to Fast Company, Kit Eaton writes,
Then came the big reveal: "Today we’re bringing to market the fruit of our strategic partner with another giant of the high tech industry, and that’s Apple." The iPhone is coming to Verizon, officially.
The phone is a CDMA conversion of Apple’s existing tech, not a slightly-experimental LTE implementation. And it arrives February 10th, 2011. The 16GB model will cost $199.99, and comes with a two year activation requirement–paralleling the pricing and availability on AT&T. Verizon’s also teasing an "exclusive opportunity" where existing customers can "get an iPhone 4 from our reserved quantity before they’re available to everyone else."
Up until the event, there was a lot of speculation if the device would run on Verizona’s LTE network—but I’d say that it was silly speculation at the least. Of course, the answer is “No.” LTE networks in general have been shoddy and slow to arrive and Verizon does not have the largest network to play with yet. We can expect the iPhone to stay on CDMA for the moment raises the question: will this phone run faster than those on AT&T’s network? Congestion will certainly be less of a problem in the beginning.
Just keep in mind, since the phone is 3G, it won’t be able to handle voice and data at the same time—but this is neither new nor strange to anyone. The big warning being touted by the journalism on the release is that Verizon’s 3G network is on average slower than AT&T’s network—although, noting that AT&T has been bent under the weight of iPhone demands they might end up seeing better service.
In all, the announcement didn’t really bring that much to the table.
It’s big, big news that a different provider is getting the iPhone and that people will now have a choice—especially those who currently subscribe to Verizon and not AT&T.
The pricing isn’t that far off of the current offering by AT&T, so it’s not likely that many people will jump ship to move to Verizon; but there will probably be a number of people running other phones who will just switch who are already customers.