And God said, “Let there be an iPhone for Verizon!”
As anyone who doesn’t live under a rock knows, as of January 11th, Steve Jobs announced that the legendary wait for the Verizon iPhone would only continue for one more month. Diehard Apple supporters around the world rejoiced for this long-awaited moment. Many have already smashed their piggy banks and set aside the money for this awe-inspiring occasion, naïve to the many faults.
Although the momentous occasion and increased service are enough to get someone to buy the phone, the faults are enough to make you think twice.
In going from AT&T to Verizon, the iPhone 4 has undergone a metamorphosis. AT&T phones get service from what are called GSM towers, while the Verizon phones work off CDMA. In switching between them, Jobs had to make a few adjustments that are less than satisfactory.
The first difference, although not entirely noticeable unless you have a habit of sending and receiving overly long text messages (yes that means you, gossiping teenage girls) can get a little frustrating. When receiving a long text message through Verizon, it gets split into different 160 character messages, while the GSM towers are smart enough to string them together.
Now this first difference might not be that much of a turn off if you’re the type of person who likes to keep his messages short and concise, but this next backlash is sure to get you. When using a GSM tower, you can talk on the phone, text, and even browse the web with 3G all simultaneously. However with the CDMA version, you are not able to browse the web and talk on the phone simultaneously unless you use Wi-Fi, which can get annoying for all you multitaskers out there.
If you are browsing the web on 3G and get an incoming call, the phone will stop whatever you’re doing, whether it’s downloading an app or loading a Twitter page. However, if you are on 2G, or Edge, while you are browsing the web, the call will go straight to voicemail, which can also be very frustrating if you’re waiting for an important call from a boss while stalking your friends on Facebook.
Worse then either of the changes so far, however, is a change that will really set iPhone owners mad. To fit the new CDMA antenna into the iPhone, Apple had to move the volume and silencing buttons down a fraction of an inch. Now you might be thinking to yourself “so what?”, but this minute change means that all of your older cases for the current AT&T iPhone 4 won’t fit the new Verizon version – at least many of them.
And finally the last, and possibly worst turn off for the Verizon iPhone: each year for the past four years, Apple has never failed to release their newest version of the iPhone in late June. Although Apple reps refuse to comment when asked whether or not there will be another new version this June, it’s safe to say that if they do, it will be thoroughly embarrassing for the millions who buy this soon-to-be outdated iteration of an iPhone.
Although this first version of the iPhone for Verizon isn’t looking too nice so far, there are some advantages. As we all know, it’s not hard to better the current cell phone service iPhone users receive from AT&T and, not surprisingly, Verizon has done it. David Pogue, editor of the New York Times and proud tester of the iPhone 4 for Verizon, ran a test. In some of AT&T’s most feared dead zones—San Francisco and New York—he took both the old AT&T iPhone 4 and the new Verizon one. On both, simultaneously, he called a landline and took a cab around the cities. In San Francisco, the AT&T iPhone dropped the call four consecutive times in 30 minutes of driving while the Verizon iPhone held strong.
Pogue expresses his joy at how much better the sound quality is with Verizon, but warns that on February 10th (the release date of the Verizon iPhone), millions of people will flock to Verizon. When this same thing happened to AT&T a few years back, all the millions of “bandwidth-sucking” users swamped the network, causing problems that still persist to this day. Although the Verizon reps say they are ready, the AT&T people did as well.
Yes, there are quite a few “but waits”, but most people don’t care about the ability to talk and browse the web at the same time. They only want their amazing, sleek, fast, beautiful godsend of a phone for Verizon, and it’s finally here.