iPhone 4 Finally Lands on Verizon; will sport CDMA-specific antenna & 3G mobile hotspot feature
We, and the rest of the blogosphere, said it would happen. And by golly, it has! After what’s been an extremely long wait, the fabled iPhone 4 is officially coming to Verizon Wireless.
Earlier today, Lowell McAdam, Verizon’s CEO, took the stage at Big Red’s press event in the Big Apple (wink, wink). After a brief introduction (we heard some chatter about LTE, etc.), the head honcho himself confirmed that a CDMA only version of the iPhone would hit stores next month (read: not LTE 4G capable). According to McAdam, talks started a whopping three years ago, back in ’08, and the company has already been testing the phone for an entire year (kudos, Verizon).
Current Verizon customers will be able to pre-order the device beginning Feburary 3rd, while everyone else can order one starting February 10th. Standard pricing applies: $199 for the 16GB model, $300 for the 32 GB version (on a two-year contract of course).
Now, as the title of this post implies, Verizon’s iPhone sports two main differences:
First, the device is CDMA- specific. Verizon 3G (EV-DO) only, okay? That means there will be no support for 4G. That also means that you won’t be able to use your iPhone overseas as the device won’t support GSM roaming. So, don’t think it’s a good idea to book a trip overseas to celebrate the fact you finally have an iPhone on Verizon… because your phone won’t work! Also because you’re going to be relying on Big Red’s third generation CDMA network, that you won’t be able to talk and surf the web simultaneously as AT&T iPhone users have the luxury of doing.
Now in terms of the actual antenna, note that there are four notches punctuating its external antenna array– for those of you keeping track, that’s one more than AT&T’s version of the iPhone. According to Tim Cook, these changes were necessary to make the phone work on the CDMA network. Besides that, however, it’s pretty much the same phone. Right?
Not so fast. In order for Apple to outfit the new CDMA antennas, Cupertino’s finest had to make some slight modifications to the physical location of the volume buttons and mute switch. This small change will most likely result in the need to purchase new cases and certain accessories.
A final interesting tidbit is that Verizon’s iPhone 4 has the ability to act as a mobile WiFi hotspot for up to five devices. According to Big Red, the device will come with an iOS-specific version of the Verizon 3G Mobile Hotspot app. Engadget, however, seems to think that the Personal Hotspot feature is built right into the CDMA iPhone 4′s build of iOS 4.2.5. Does this mean this feature’s coming to AT&T versions of the iPhone soon? While we don’t know how much extra this functionality is going to cost, we can assume it’ll be on the pricey side.