Holy smokes it finally happened! The iPhone on Verizon. Oh wait, am I suppose to be excited? I, like many other iPhone owners, am less than happy with AT&T but do I really want to make the switch? Is the ability to make calls that do not drop worth the price of admission? Well let’s take a look.
Everyone that has Verizon’s new 4G LTE service available on your phone step forward…WHOA not so fast new iPhone owners. That’s right, buy the new Verizon iPhone give up your ability for the next 2 years to get on 4G. Apple was unwilling to make the design changes necessary to include 4G so you will be riding the CDMA bus for the rest of your contract. I would like to mention however that Apple was kind enough to fix the Antennagate issue on Verizon. Now all you need to do is try and find a case for your new phone.
Yep, I said new phone. You will not have the ability to use your existing iPhone 4 on Verizon. Have fun forking over another $199.00 and your early termination fee. Each carrier run on different networks respectively. AT&T runs on GSM and Verizon on CDMA. I will not bore you with hard vs. soft handovers but I will point out that one uses a sim card and one does not. For those that have been on AT&T the joy of being able to pop a Sim card out and place it in a new phone or even different phone is one we have become familiar with and love. Verizon makes you ‘activate‘ each phone either online, by calling or going to the store and adds a nice little $30 activation fee each time as well.
The other main difference between GSM and CDMA is the way they transfer data and voice. AT&T and their GSM network transfer both simultaneously. Why is this important? I don’t know about you, but I love being on my bluetooth headset and looking up directions, a website, checking mail or finding a file in Dropbox. The ability to do this we all have taken for granted. Now we just expect it standard on our phones. Verizon and the CDMA network transfer data separately. This is a decision that the Verizon engineers made years ago to ease the flow of information. If you are on the phone you cannot access data. This also means if you are downloading a file or accessing a webpage and the phone rings that transfer stops. Where this will really become an issue is in the new Hotspot feature Verizon spoke to at the press conference. Connect up to 5 devices to your phone acting as a wireless hotspot! Awesome, till the phone rings and everyone is sans connection.
If you haven’t been able to extrapolate my feeling from this article on the new Verizon iPhone than let me be clear; DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY…YET. Wait a little while, see how the Verizon network supports the influx of new iPhone users. Watch as new users become frustrated at the bifurcated nature of the network. Revel in the fact that while you’re on the phone your 9MB email is being sent in the background. Know that you do not have to go buy all new accessories for your new device. Enjoy the fact that even though they are on the Verizon network, AT&T is still faster. All I ask, just don’t try to make a call.