Where Verizon's iPhone doesn't deliver

Where Verizon's iPhone doesn't deliver

Summary: Voice quality on Verizon's network is fantastic, whereas the data experience is subpar

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Since the Verizon iPhone hit general availability, I've been hearing from friends who were previous iPhone users about the Verizon iPhone experience. As expected, it seems that universally most of the feedback I've been receiving matches with my previous article on the subject: voice quality is great, whereas data is subpar.

To the point above, a recent article on Wired even highlighted results from the Speedtest.net app, where the AT&T iPhone's average download speed was 1,769 kbps, compared to Verizon's, which clocked in at 848 Kbps. The upload speeds were equally divided, with AT&T's iPhone coming in at 730 Kbps, and Verizon's delivering at 506 Kbps. Before you discount these results, keep in mind that the results came from 43,000 AT&T iPhone and 14,000 Verizon iPhones, throughout the United States.

If you were already a Verizon customer, and simply upgraded to the iPhone experience, chances are you're loving the new iPhone 4. However, if you were an AT&T user, the noticeable speed difference, coupled with the fact that you can't use data and talk at the same time, may be enough to send you back to the Verizon store in search of a refund.

On the subject of simultaneous data and voice, it seems that Apple has designed a tolerable experience for the hand-off between data and voice in that if your iPhone is in a 3G area, incoming calls will interrupt your data, and your phone will ring. Unfortunately, if you're on 2G (1xRTT), though, your call will go straight to voice mail.

So, how's the voice quality on Verizon's iPhone? One friend recently upgraded to Verizon from his iPhone after experiencing three dropped calls in a row. In his words, "it's great to be able to make a phone call!" He also placed an order for a signal booster for his home, so apparently he's now a Verizon convert.

Did you pick up a Verizon iPhone? Why or why not? Also, share if you switched from one on AT&T.

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

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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35 comments
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  • RE: Where Verizon's iPhone doesn't deliver

    I had an at&t iPhone. I travel a lot, so most of the time, I couldn't get anything but their edge connection. I decided to try Verizon for their 30 day free trial. Five days later, I paid
    the ETF at at&t, and I've been with Verizon
    since. The map is true. Aside from that? I did
    not like the iPhone, and I won't be buying the Verizon iPhone.
    boondoggle69
    • It is funny that Joel never wrote about "supbar" data on **Android** phones

      @boondoggle69: the data speed was/is exactly the same as for iPhone 4 but <b>there was nothing from Joel about it</b> except advertisement of Android phones on Verizon, how these are all-around "better" than iPhone (for AT&T at the time).
      DDERSSS
  • RE: Where Verizon's iPhone doesn't deliver

    I have an AT&T iPhone and won't be switching anytime soon. I stay mainly in Florida and don't have problems with voice or data as a rule. I am glad there's finally another carrier, which will distribute the load and garner some much needed competition. I'm definitely glad I picked up the 3gs when I did, since I have the unlimited data plan and am not having to worry about tiers and caps with AT&T or being slowed down by Verizon for current or future months if I use too much.
    comhunter
  • Voice quality is not the same as holding on to a call.

    I had an iPhone and have a Droid X. Prior to discontinuing the iPhone I did some A/B tests among the phones. The AT&T Voice QUALITY was a hair better than the Verizon one when you are in 3G.

    The AT&T sounded bassy while the Verizon sounded a little tinny.

    Now holding on to a call and not dropping is not voice quality. That's call quality.
    itguy08
  • i remember...

    ... all the pundits bashing att and apple and never mentioned the sub par data experience for smartphones on verizon. every android handset had these problems on verizon. now the iphone is on the verizon network and they make a big deal about it. seems that verizon isn't the superior carrier the apple haters all the time claimed it to be.
    banned from zdnet
    • ZDNet was hyping Andoid Verizon phones 24/7, but when it's Apple it's *bad*

      @banned from zdnet: -- though data speed was/is the same. Nothing about "supbar" speed was mentioned in blog entries of oh-so-perfect Andoid phones.

      So you are right; religious approach from ZDNet bloggers is obvious.
      DDERSSS
      • Okay, but:

        @denisrs Only two providers were given Royal Grants to sell iPhones and everyone, including ATT and Vorizon sells Android phones. If a user does not like the way an Android phone works on his/her system, they have the option to change or look for a better deal. iPhone users have no choice but to use either Frick or Frack. And nobody can change until their 2 year contract expires without paying a penalty.

        Love my Tracfone. Don't have to make another payment, unless I use all my minutes, for another 227 days. And I can change my phone or my provider at anytime, no penalty.
        pfyearwood
    • Not true. It's called the i-&quot;phone&quot; not the i-&quot;data device&quot;

      @banned from zdnet
      First and foremost it has to be able to make a reliable call, a complaint many AT&T users voiced it couldn't do all that great.

      I don't check my email every 5 minutes, so if it takes 10 minutes to downlaoad my email as opposed to 7 minutes, so be it.

      I'll never notice.
      John Zern
      • RE: Where Verizon's iPhone doesn't deliver

        @John Zern You don't need a Smartphone then. And you need to remove your opinion because it doesn't apply to these posts.
        Narg
  • I have a Verizon Wireless Internet Radio (USB dongle)

    I have noticed that the data rates I could get have eroded steadily but most steeply since the iPhone was released for Verizon. It's my expectation that data rates for all smart phone carriers will continue to diminish as more users connect and demand more bandwidth.
    jacarter3
  • The only reason this is news is because the tech

    press DELIBERATELY spiked Verizon's sub-par data technology in their jihad against AT&T.
    fr_gough
  • RE: Where Verizon's iPhone doesn't deliver

    For me I had too many billing surprises from Verizon so I switched to ATT and have been happy ever since.
    I do a lot of traveling coast to coast and seldom have an issue.
    That said, I do use my Android phone more for business as it handles calls and work stuff better than my iphone, but I enjoy both.

    On ATT with an i4 and a Nexus One.....
    Getting the Atrix soon (yes, I have the ATT 4G in my area).
    :)
    rhonin
  • Too little too late, 4G LTE Androids will make data a non-issue

    I too was on AT&T for years and switched to Verizon a few years back so I could make calls from within my home and avoid dropped calls. And that is exactly what happened. When calling from home, most folks assume I am on a land-line. Don't think I have ever dropped a call since.<br><br>While my Blackberry Tour is a great phone and PDA, I would have purchased an iPhone years ago had they been available on Verizon. But now that Android models are coming of age, I will choose one of those for my next phone. Having used Verizon's 4G LTE network all over Atlanta including way out in the suburbs as speeds that exceed my home cable connection, data speed will no longer be a question until AT&T can catch up. Let's just say I don't look for "free WiFi" signs anymore. Apple had their chance but waited too long to make friends with AT&T. For me, they waited too long. With Apple's release rate, it will be quite a while before they offer a 4G phone on Verizon so Android, here I come.
    don@...
    • RE: Where Verizon's iPhone doesn't deliver

      @don@... AT&T will have LTE about 6 to 12 months after Verizon. AND, with better technology and a better radio spectrum so that when AT&T LTE is the rule the dropped calls issues will soon be a Verizon problem and not AT&T.
      Narg
      • LTE is LTE and both carriers using 700MHz spectrum

        @Narg Sorry, but your facts are erroneous.
        otaddy
      • RE: Where Verizon's iPhone doesn't deliver

        the AT&T LTE is the same as the current Verizon LTE network. This link is an article on how they are the same.
        http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/03/19/urnidgns852573c400693880002576ea00771eb-idUS9365863220100319?pageNumber=1
        AT&T will expand to other radio spectrums in the future. Verizon will be going to LTE Advanced starting in 2012, which is the true 4g network, before they modified the standard to allow the current technologies to be called 4g when they did not meet the specifications.
        kevin.nichols@...
  • No Verizon for me

    I have never experienced major problems with dropped calls with AT&T and my iPhone. However, Verizon would not work for me as I would have to wander around my house with the phone held high trying to get 1 bar.
    jwillum
  • My iPhone never drops a call

    All my friends with Verizon iPhones do have trouble making calls, no matter where we are at.

    This is just another slam story against Apple.
    Ron Burgundey
    • RE: Where Verizon's iPhone doesn't deliver

      @Ron Burgundey You mean AT&T?
      statuskwo5
      • RE: Where Verizon's iPhone doesn't deliver

        @statuskwo5 No he means Verizon. The Verizon iPhones are the one's not able to place a call no matter where they are.
        Narg