When I woke up on 11th of January, I felt really good. It wasn’t because I had a good night’s sleep or celebrated my birthday the day before. It was because I knew that on this day the tech world would receive some of the best news it had received in a long time: after years of anticipation, the iPhone would be available to Verizon customers. Needless to say, I was very happy.
It has only been one of the hottest rumored topics for the past two or so years, where at the end of each year we all had wondered whether or not the exclusivity with AT&T would finally come to an end. At each year’s end in the past, we were typically met with disappointment. No iPhone on Verizon — “this is yet another year without the iPhone,” groaned subconsciously by millions of unsatisfied customers.
But come the end of 2010, there was a different vibe in the air. Rumors from the likes of the Wall Street Journal had revealed that Apple was producing a CDMA iPhone. Of course, this could have meant many things. They could have been created for another country. They could have been produced for testing purposes. They could have simply been a mistake in identity. But yet we all remained hopeful that this was the real Verizon iPhone we had speculated about for years.
But things got more interesting when the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple and Verizon were in talks to release a version of the iPhone for Verizon’s network. This was furthering the optimism of the Verizon iPhone. The excitement, of course, was at an all-time high. But even I was hesitant.
It was only on January 11, 2011, when everything we had waited for throughout these past few years was coming to a climax. This was the time when Verizon was supposed to reveal the inevitable. This was the moment that the iPhone was coming to Verizon.
As it so turned out, it all came true. The collective technology industry screamed hallelujah! There is a tech god, after all.
Then the details started spilling out to the Internet: the Verizon iPhone is very similar to the iPhone 4 on AT&T, has a different antennae design, avoids the Verizon branding and crippling that most phones receive, supports Verizon’s 3G Mobile Hotspot, and works incredibly well.
It’s Just So Awesome
It was amazing news for consumers. This exclusivity with AT&T has been the bane of consumer choice for several years now. It’s gone so far that there has been investigations by the U.S. government into the matter of exclusivity (and, of course, the government didn’t do anything to help consumers). However, now consumers finally have a choice. It isn’t as satisfying as being able to have the iPhone 4 on any carrier we want, but having two choices with two different network standards is a great beginning.
We also can’t forget how poor the AT&T networks have been for many consumers who use the iPhone. While I know many people who live in rural areas that have had no issue at all with the iPhone on AT&T, I also hear many complaints from those who are in urban areas that can’t stand AT&T’s service. This is there moment to make the switch and leave AT&T behind.
This is also a great achievement for Apple. The company now has the opportunity to expand the iPhone user base by quite a fair margin. This means more people will be able to buy into the Apple ecosystem, which will help the iOS platform thrive. This will also indirectly help other iOS products, like the iPad and potentially the iMac/Macbook.
However, there are a few sad faces around the tech industry. I bet you already know at least one of them.
The first sad face belongs to AT&T. The company would have you believe that the Verizon iPhone isn’t a big deal. I would have you know that I chuckle every time I hear such a thing. If there is one thing you should know, it is that every single executive in AT&T’s board room already has or soon will wet their pants.
Admittedly, it is unfair to claim that the iPhone was AT&T’s only weapon against Verizon; however, I am going to make that argument either way. The only advantage AT&T has over any other network is the iPhone! No one cares about Blackberry or Windows Phone 7 or any other crap that they have on their network. Furthermore, AT&T lacks a killer lineup of Android phones, whereas the Droid lineup that Verizon crafted is brilliantly concocted and thriving. AT&T only has the iPhone! Yet that advantage will no longer hold true when February comes around.
Speaking of Android, their amazing growth might take a bit of a hit in the U.S. with the release of iPhone on Verizon. Of course, I firmly believe that Android will continue to experience explosive growth, but I’m sure this year will be a little less gratifying with the news if the Verizon iPhone. The impacts will be great, and I will discuss them in the future.
It will also be interesting to see how Verizon handles the issue of Android vs iPhone on their network. Previously, Verizon has attacked Apple and the iPhone while using Android as one of the main vehicles to carry out those attacks. Now, the carrier will likely remain neutral in the Android vs iPhone debate. This means that Android could possibly be without the huge backing of the Droid branding on Verizon. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out.
Should You Buy?
Now the question is whether or not people should purchase the Verizon iPhone. There is a case to be made for every individual, and I’m not going to attempt to summarize them all in this piece. However, I will give some quick thoughts on the matter:
- If you own an iPhone, are dissatisfied with AT&T’s network, and have a soon to expire contract, then go ahead and switch to the Verizon iPhone 4.
- If you own an iPhone, are dissatisfied with AT&T’s network, and have a long time until your contract will expire, then wait a few more months until the iPhone 5 is available to consider breaking your contract with AT&T.
- If you do not own an iPhone, are on a competitor’s network, and have a contract that is soon to expire, then go ahead and make the switch to Verizon iPhone.
- If you do not own an iphone, are on a competitor’s network, and have a contract that still has awhile until it is completed, wait until the iPhone 5 is announced.
- If you are on Verizon’s network and your contract is about to expire, go ahead and get the iPhone 4.
- If you are on Verizon’s network and your contract still has more than a year remaining, then just wait it out (your phone probably works fine anyways).
- If you want the Verizon iPhone so bad and you don’t care how much money you spend, then just go ahead and break the contract or purchase the Verizon iPhone at full retail price.
- If you want the latest and greatest and hate having to upgrade, then just wait until the iPhone 5 comes out.
Do you plan on buying the Verizon iPhone? Are you satisfied with AT&T’s service? Sound off in the comments section and let us know what you think!