I say this with a tinge of reluctance, but starting February 10th, you’ll be able to own the best phone on the best carrier. Following an official event this morning in New York, the Verizon iPhone is no longer a thing of legend. The iPhone will materialize on the big red network with pre-orders for existing Verizon customers beginning on February 3rd and actual sales of the device starting on February 10th.
The Verizon iPhone will retail at $199 for the 16GB or $299 for 32GB of storage space, you know, if you’re serious about it. As always, you’ll need a 2 year contract to snag one of these things. Beyond the basics, the Verizon iPhone has a few quirks to speak of, since it does run on Verizon’s CDMA network (AT&T uses GSM technology, which is different in a handful relatively boring ways). The iPhone will appear identical to its AT&T counterpart, with the exact same design (unless the buttons scoot down a fraction of a millimeter), but they’ll be just a couple of notable differences which i’ll explain a little.
First of all, with the Verizon iPhone and its wacky CDMA technology, you won’t be able to access the web and talk on your phone at the same time. This sounds like kind of a big deal, but in practice I’m not convinced this will actually make much of a difference. Also, I don’t talk on the phone, so who am I to judge what you do? Don’t let me boss you around.
Secondly, and this is sweet (seriously), the Verizon iPhone will come will mobile hotspot capability. Using your phone as a mobile hotspot is also called “tethering,” and it’s a super useful way to share your smartphone’s internet connection with other devices. I use this feature my own Android phone (for free, ahem) any time my home network goes down, or whenever I’m at a cafe and the barista is too cute and asking her for the password for the wireless makes me feel nervous. On the Verizon iPhone, mobile hotspot capability won’t be free, but depending on your needs, paying for a tethering plan (especially since it’ll cover multiple devices) could be more than worth your while.
So there you have it! While there’s no official word on the cost of Verizon iPhone monthly plans yet, we’ll go out on a limb and guess they’ll be about 30 bucks, just like always. But remember: Apple is almost certainly announcing a new iPhone in June of this year, so if you make the leap for the Verizon phone in February, you’ll be locked into a new contract and ineligible for the newest, sexiest iPhone, which might even run on AT&T and Verizon’s so-called 4G networks. Also, I just got back from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and whoo-boy are there some fine lookin’ Android devices on the immediate horizon, mostly in the first quarter of this year. Verizon in particular will be rolling out all manner of amazing phones, but AT&T will score my personal favorite from the event, the Motorola Atrix 4G. But hey, I’m an Android convert, so that’s just me. The iPhone is still the phone I recommend for most (especially first-time) smartphone buyers. Android is a bit of an acquired taste, like a fine wine or a cougar.
So, what’ll it be? Are you switching over the second you can mash Verizon’s pre-order button?