So there was not LTE, no white iPhone, no new features and no Steve Jobs but the worst kept secret in technology has finally been confirmed – the iPhone is heading for the Verizon network.
While it may have little impact for consumers anywhere outside the US, the announcement today by Lowell MacAdam, President of Verizon, that the iPhone 4 will be available from early in February on the Verizon network will impact on millions of US phone users. This means that the Verizon iPhone 4 will be almost identical to the one currently available on the AT&T network but with a CDMA radio chip inside rather than a GSM one. The only other difference is the ability of the Verizon iPhone to create Personal Hotspots. These allow five other devices (laptops, mobile phones, tabelts etc) to share the data connection via Wifi.
The device will be available from February 3 for pre-order by existing Verizon users and a week later for everyone else. The price will be $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for 32GB. No price plans were announced as they have not be confirmed yet. A lot of rumours had been flying around that Apple could possibly announce a LTE-compatible iPhone to run on Verizon’s newly switched-on 4G network. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, told the press conference in New York’s Lincoln Centre an hour ago that the reason for not choosing an LTE iPhone was two-fold: “The first gen LTW chipsets force design changes we wouldn't make. And Verizon customers told us they want the iPhone now. I can't tell you the number of times we've been asked when will it work on Verizon?”
When asked about the issue that you cannot use voice and data at the same time on the CDMA network, Cook appeared to dodge the question returning to his previous point that the customers wanted the iPhone on Verizon as soon as possible. The GSM network allows for voice and data to be used at the same time.
While we are sure there will be quite a few Verizon customers ready to buy the iPhone 4 next month, we wonder if many won’t hold off until the summer when a new iPhone will be announced including, in all probability, 4G compability.