Regarding Verizon’s iPhone, let the buyer beware
It’s no secret that the Apple iPhone has taken the market by storm. Indeed, ever since AT&T Mobility became the exclusive provider of the iconic device in 2007, consumers and enterprise users have been clamoring for the phone on other networks.
They got their wish last week when Verizon Wireless and Apple finally announced a non-exclusive deal to bring the iPhone onto Verizon’s CDMA EV-DO network starting on Feb. 10.
But consumer advocates are throwing out caution. Do you really want to adopt the device when perhaps a better phone on a better network will be available in June, the time when Apple releases new products? Of particular consternation is the fact that the iPhone 4 is becoming an old device, and it only runs on Verizon’s CDMA EV-DO network, not the faster LTE network it plans to roll out rather aggressively in 2011.
Consumer Reports says that folks might want to hold off on the iPhone 4. “The Verizon Wireless iPhone 4 has plenty in its favor, especially compared with its AT&T sibling,” wrote editors Paul Reynolds and Mike Gikas in a Jan. 13 blog post. “But it may be quickly replaced by a newer, cooler version more quickly than is customary even for the die-young life expectancy of most smartphones.”
Newer smartphones feature 4-plus-inch displays, and the iPhone 4 is still at 3.5 inches. In addition, the CDMA phone won’t work on GSM networks worldwide nor will it support simultaneous voice and data sessions as does the AT&T version.
Meanwhile, new LTE phones from Motorola, Samsung and LG are expected to come to Verizon’s new LTE network by the summer, and are expected to feature simultaneous voice and data sessions along with higher data speeds and processing power. Meanwhile, Verizon is expected to expand LTE into 140 markets by 2011, and you can bet it will work to have a significant footprint before LTE smart phones arrive.
So the biggest question is whether an LTE version of the iPhone will come along in June. Still another unknown is how much Verizon will be charging for iPhone data plans, as the company has yet to release that information. The rumor is that Verizon will continue to offer unlimited data pricing at $30 per month. In contrast, AT&T Mobility last summer changed its pricing scheme and is offering 2 GB of data for $25 and 200 MB for $15 per month.
So while it’s easy to jump on the iPhone bandwagon given its successes to date, users could end up with buyer’s remorse come this summer.
What do you think? Tell us in the comment box below.