Face Off: Verizon and AT&T spar on iPhone (updated)

Face Off: Verizon and AT&T spar on iPhone (updated)

Summary: Competition is a beautiful thing and something Apple customers aren't used to -- especially if you own an iPhone. But that all changed today when Verizon began selling a CDMA iPhone

SHARE:

Competition is a beautiful thing and something Apple customers aren't used to -- especially if you own an iPhone. But that all changed today when Verizon began selling a CDMA iPhone. Unfortunately, pre-orders started at 3am for existing customers only, everyone will have to wait until February 10.

The early reviews are already in from wags that got access to the Verizon iPhone 4 about a week ago, including WSJ's Walt Mossberg, Engadget's Josh Topolsky and Daring Fireball's John Gruber (what, no Andy Ihnatko?)

The reviews are pretty unanimous: it's the same iPhone 4 but with CDMA, better reception and a neato personal hotspot feature. The downside is the the viPhone has slower data and you can't use the Internet (on 3G) while on a phone call.

I can't comment on the Verizon iPhone personally yet because I haven't used one. Since I'm not a current Verizon Wireless customer I had to harrass a family member (with a VZW account) into pre-ordering a viPhone for me. Although some customers are already receiving shipping notifications, mine's not shipping until February 9.

However, I have used a metric butt load of other Verizon smartphones (including every manner of Droid) and Big Red simply gets better reception than the Death Star where I spend most of my time (southern New Jersey and Philadelphia). Obviously, YMMV.

I can't wait to get mine and will report back when I do.

(... just what are we calling it anyway? viPhone? VeriPhone?)

Will VZW customers adopt the Holy Phone én masse?

Art: OSM

Update: BGR reports that VZW will begin to throttle data-throughput and compress videos and pictures to customers that consume an “extraordinary amount of data.” Quick, somebody Photoshop the VZW logo onto the Death Star!

Topics: AT&T, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones, Verizon

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

39 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • The Deltas in performance of both networks

    will be interesting to see. Verizon's CDMA network should be able to handle the additional network traffic (iPhone users tend to be heavy data consumers), assuming they aren't close to saturation currently. What kind of improvements AT&T shows as some of those heavy users get off-loaded to VZW will be equally enlightening.

    I think I made the point previously (in response to one of the countless Verizon iPhone rumor stories last year) that a Verizon iPhone will be a boon to iPhone users that are more voice-focused, while it may be a bit of a disappointment for those more data-centric. For those of us sticking to AT&T it may very well be like how us San Diego natives felt after Labor Day when we got our beaches back from the tourists and 'Zonies from Phoenix trying to beat the heat.
    matthew_maurice
  • Price-wise

    There doesn't seem to be any PRICE difference between the two companies family plans. They seem to be equally priced. The only real competition seems to be between what both of their networks can & cannot do in certain areas.<br><br>I was hoping they might try to out-do one another a little & have a bit of a 'customer savings' war. I didn't think it was highly probable but I was hoping. Still not ruling it out for the future but it seems less probable now. If they didn't do it now, they may not do it.<br><br>The iPhone 5G (5th Generation) coming out this summer would be an opportune time to try to one-up AT&T by offering a slightly less expensive plan.<br>I am reticent to believe that will happen. I think they are both quite happy keeping their prices the same.
    ShoCamui
    • RE: Face Off: Verizon and AT&amp;T spire on iPhone

      @ShoCamui <br>The iPhone 4 has been on all networks in the UK (Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange, 3, Tesco) since launch. The free-market of competition has made bugger all real world difference to pricing. The only differentiator is Hutchinson owned 3, offers truly unlimited data, whereas the rest screw you over with caps and punative overage charges. Tesco are a bit cheaper overall.<br><br>Cell Companies, like supermarkets, offer generally the same stuff at generally similar prices. As an aside, Tesco being the UK's largest supermarket, and on the cusp of being world's second biggest retailer, know something about this sort of thing
      neilpost
      • RE: Face Off: Verizon and AT&amp;T spire on iPhone

        Very interesting to know how the situation is in the U.K.
        There have been differences between the similar plans each company offers here in the U.S.
        Unfortunately, it seems our companies are slowly moving toward having more standardized prices for their plans.
        Thanks for that interesting information!
        ShoCamui
    • Apple demanded pricing, perhaps?

      <nt>
      shryko
    • RE: Face Off: Verizon and AT&amp;T spire on iPhone

      @ShoCamui

      Reticent does not mean hesitant.
      DeusXMachina
      • RE: Reticent

        @DeusXMachina True, but reticent can mean reluctant, which would make sense too.
        PaulatFox
      • RE: Face Off: Verizon and AT&amp;T spire on iPhone

        @DeusXMachina i love it when the smarmy grammar corrector is wrong
        jamriner
      • RE: Face Off: Verizon and AT&amp;T spire on iPhone

        @PaulatFox<br><br>No. Reticent can NOT mean reluctant. It is from the Latin reticere, from re- (expressing magnitude) + tacere, to be silent.<br><br>And jamriner, you appear to not know what "smarmy" means either!
        DeusXMachina
  • RE: Face Off: Verizon and AT&amp;T spire on iPhone

    Verizon and AT&T spire on iPhone - what? Did you mean "spar"? Because spire is this context is meaningless. Get an editor!
    Unusual1
  • You Forgot To Mention The Great AT&amp;T Ripoff

    1. You can't get unlimited data
    2. You can only get 2GB max on your data plan
    3. You have to pay for tethering
    4. You have to pay for hotspot

    Once iOS 4.3 is jailbroken you bet your sweet butt I'm jailbreaking mine and turning it into a hotspot and tethering with Cydia.
    Ron Burgundy
    • RE: Face Off: Verizon and AT&amp;T spire on iPhone

      @Ron Burgundy

      Not quite accurate:
      If you had an unlimited plan prior to data plan change, you get to keep your unlimited plan.

      You get 2GB per month for $25 per month. If you go over, it is $10 per Gig. There is no limit. Now to put this in perspective, my son has an iPhone with the 2GB plan. He listens to Pandora 3-4 hours a day and views youtube constantly. He has NEVER gone over his 2GB limit. ATT stated that more than 95% of their customers would never hit that ceiling and so far it appears that they were right.
      What really sucks is that ATT charges Blackberry users $15 to use the Exchange feature.

      That said, I've decided to dump my Blackberry for the Atrix instead of the iPhone.
      capricorncory
      • RE: Face Off: Verizon and AT&amp;T spire on iPhone

        @capricorncory BlackBerry requires the extra $15 for BB Exchange, so all cell phone companies have to charge it. I ended up getting off my company's Exchange system to save the money. I don't need to be that hooked into work unless they are going to pay for it!
        blothe@...
      • RE: Face Off: Verizon and AT&amp;T spire on iPhone

        @capricorncory

        I kept the unlimited plan, but if I wanted tethering or hotspot guess what?

        I'd have to go to a lower plan.

        Jailbreak is where I'm going, if AT&T is going to screw me I'm screwing them.
        Ron Burgundy
      • RE: Face Off: Verizon and AT&amp;T spire on iPhone

        @Ron Burgundy
        Not true.... Talked to my ATT rep, I have unlimited data.
        If I want legal tethering I just pay the extra and keep my unlimited.

        But thats ok - I went the Cydia route.... on 4.1
        rhonin
    • RE: Face Off: Verizon and AT&amp;T spire on iPhone

      @Ron Burgundy

      1. True but I hear if you whine enough they will give it to you.
      2. True but see #1
      3. Same with Verizon
      4. Same with Verizon

      I just hope my Verizon service doesn't go to $hit with the iPhone. IMHO both AT&T and Verizon are excellent carriers.
      itguy08
    • RE: Face Off: Verizon and AT&amp;T spire on iPhone

      @Ron Burgundy <br><br>Verizon also charges a $35 one-time activation fee for their tethering/hotspot capabilities on the iPhone4.<br>I have no idea if AT&T does. Does anyone else know?<br><br>I'm looking forward to seeing what the jail-breaking community can do once 4.3 is officially in the wild. Definitely looking forward to that along with you.
      ShoCamui
      • RE: Face Off: Verizon and AT&amp;T spire on iPhone

        @ShoCamui AT&T does ntr charge an activation fee for tethering (and hopefully soon wifi hotspur just the same.) To AT&T these are simple add on "feature" for which there is no ativation fee. Features like this can be added or removed at-will at any time with no penalty. In fact many can be added retroactively, now, or at the start of the next billing cycle.
        taylor@...
    • RE: Face Off: Verizon and AT&T spire on iPhone

      @Ron Burgundy

      No Cell Phone Data provider gives anyone a True Unlimited Data Plan. It's a Unlimited Lie. As for tethering and or a hotspot VZW charges an additional $20 for this feature on top of your $30 data plan.
      ludedude1975
  • Gonna be fun to watch

    Got popcorn?
    oncall