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?
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!