With enough speculation to overload even the most mild-mannered techie, the Verizon iPhone has finally launched. Rumours had circulated months before the Consumer Electronics Show and continued during the event, even though the show was dominated by Android-powered smartphones and devices.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, you might be wondering what the fuss is all about and how the Verizon iPhone 4 differs from it’s AT&T cousin. That’s where we come in – allow us to present six quick Verizon iPhone facts that you will want to know:
1. The Verizon iPhone 4 Will Launch February 10 Starting At $199
So. Much. Tech.
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For those of you who aren’t already Verizon customers, the Verizon iPhone will be available to pre-order on February 10. The 16GB model will cost $199.99 on a two-year contract and will require a data pak also.
If you are an existing customer, Verizon will offer you the ability to upgrade from February 3. All customers will be able to order the device from Verizon’s websites, stores and also from Apple Stores.
2. Existing AT&T iPhone 4 Cases Might Not Fit
Apple decided to refresh the design of its iPhone 4 ever-so-slightly for its launch on the Verizon network. Antennas were shifted (more on this later) but the side volume and mute slider controls were also adjusted and are now positioned a tiny bit lower on the AT&T iPhone 4.
Take a look at the image below (courtesy of ArsTechnica), it’s not a massive change but the button positions will now no longer fit as they used to (Verizon iPhone is at the top):
3. Verizon Advertised A White iPhone But It Will Not Be Available At Launch
If you visited the Verizon website when the device launched you would have seen that the white iPhone 4 was being advertised on the “Capacity and Colour” tab. Before you get all excited and think about dropping everything to get the mythical white device, let us tell you that it won’t be available at launch.
Apple and Verizon have since removed the white iPhone 4 from the product pages, leading us to think that the pages were copied over from an old iPhone 4 mockup and were not adequately proofed before publishing. Verizon’s PR department have also denied it will launch in February after contact from Cnet:
4. Antennagate Should Be A Thing Of The Past
Apple’s design refresh also saw the antenna locations amended to stop iPhone 4 users from being able to replicate antenna issues on existing models. The Verizon iPhone will have have its antenna integrated inside the device, not on the left side of the device.
Initial reports suggest that the antenna issue cannot be replicated despite users holding the iPhone using the “death grip”.
5. The Verizon iPhone Will Support Up To 5 Devices Via iOS Hotspot Feature
The Verizon iPhone will ship with iOS 4.2.5, an updated version of Apple’s smartphone operating system. Inside the settings lies a new Personal Hotspot feature that will give users the option to share the iPhone’s 3G connection via Wi-Fi. It will support up to 5 devices.
Additional usage charges might be levied if the feature is used. It is not known if the Personal Hotspot feature is unique to Verizon or whether it will be featured in an update for all iPhone users.
More on this as it develops.
6. Verizon’s Network Doesn’t Support Simultaneous Data And Voice Calls
The new iPhone will run on Verizon’s 3G (EV-DO) network which differs from AT&T’s GSM network in the way it handles data and voice calls. When Verizon users receive calls on their iPhone 4, the device will have to drop data connections, meaning you will have to hang-up before sending messages or browsing the Internet on your device. Differences in protocols will also mean speed differences will be noticeable between the two networks.
The announcement also rubbished rumours of an LTE phone – Apple commented that it would have to amend the design of the iPhone to support the technology and that it would not be willing to do so at this moment in time. It means we could see the release of an LTE iPhone when Apple unveils its newest smartphone device.
There will be some additional changes that Verizon customers might notice (noted above) if they were used to the iPhone running on AT&T’s network but fundamentally the experience will be the same. The features and apps on the Verizon iPhone will remain unchanged, as will the operating system for the most part.
Users will see slight changes in the hardware design but it won’t take away from the iPhone experience.
Verzion has put up a Q&A portal on its website aimed at providing additional answers, if you want to know more about the device and the Verizon service it’s advisable to have a read.
Now that the Verizon iPhone is official, will you be getting one?