We're hours away from the Verizon iPhone finally being announced. While Verizon's network is arguably superior to AT&T's, there are four main reasons why you shouldn't jump at the Verizon iPhone. I have detailed them below.
Lack of simultaneous voice and dataThis seemingly obvious feature will not be possible on the Verizon network. As a long time iPhone user and current AT&T customer, I can tell you that while I would love to have a chance to have the coverage that Verizon offers, the ability to put a call on speaker and browse the internet or search Google maps or perform a variety of other internet-related activities, far outweighs the occasional dropped calls that I experience on AT&T. And yes, I did say "occasional". It seems that AT&T has gone a long way in fixing the dropped call issues and with my iPhone 4, I'm more apt to hang up a call by accident with my cheek than experience a dropped call due to the network.
ETF (Early Termination Fee)Of course, my wife has already told me that she wants to go back to Verizon--she was a long time customer before I forced her to take an iPhone. However, if you're an existing AT&T customer and want to jump to Verizon, you'll have to pay the ETF (early termination fee). According to AT&T's page on the subject, that's going to run you $325, minus $10 for each full month of your Service Commitment that you completed. I haven't done the math yet, but I can tell you that it's going to cost a lot for me to move my wife and I over to Verizon, since we both have iPhone 4's. Translation: not gonna happen.
BugsWhat do you get with the first iPhone to ship designed to work on CDMA? Bugs! Are you ready to enjoy a bug or two? I'm pretty sure there will be some CDMA-specific bugs introduced. Either some bugs related to handing off between data and voice or battery drainage. Regardless, when you ship a new product it's buggy, unfortunately.
SpeedI've talked about issues with CDMA a couple of times already. I gave it its own area under Speed because I wanted to highlight that while Verizon may have a better coverage area, the speed of its data network is slower than AT&T's. The iPhone 4 zips along on AT&T's network, because of both the speed of the network, and the processor and memory on the iPhone. If you mess with that magical equation you get a sub-par experience. I have a feeling that early reports of the iPhone 4 on Verizon will be of a sub-par experience, especially in areas where AT&T has solid coverage.
We'll see what Verizon and Apple have in store for us tomorrow. Here are some of the questions I'm hoping we get answers to:
- Will there be a new iPhone 4 design that fixes that "death grip" that Apple never really said was an iPhone-only issue?
- Will it get the same iOS release?
- Will Verizon offer unlimited data plans?
- Will Verizon offer simultaneous data and voice, due to a rumored CDMA network upgrade?
- Will the iPhone 4 even be announced?
Tomorrow all of our questions will be answered, hopefully.