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Verizon Finally Unveils Apple iPhone 480

Velcroman1 writes "The most asked question in all of technology finally has an answer. When will Verizon get the iPhone? The answer: early next month. Verizon COO Lowell McAdam unveiled a new iPhone Tuesday during a presentation in New York that was short on surprises as most of the tech press already knew what was coming. 'If the press writes about something long enough and hard enough, eventually it comes true,' McAdam joked. Nevertheless, the move clears a major hurdle for Apple as they face increasing competition in smartphones, particularly from devices based on Google Inc.'s Android software which has exploded in popularity. Verizon's Lowell McAdam described the unveiling as a 'great day for wireless customers across the US.'"
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Verizon Finally Unveils Apple iPhone

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  • by imamac ( 1083405 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @12:41PM (#34836618)
    Good: Free tethering. Bad: No simultaneous voice/data.
    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @12:43PM (#34836662)

      They didn't just say they would support tethering, they said you could use it as a hotspot - about time.

      BUT what I don't think was stated, was how much (if anything), this will cost... it might be free but I don't think the price of anything was made clear. They also didn't talk about unlimited data plans even though that was a rumor, and the Verizon data plan page says there is a 2GB cap on smartphone plans.

      • by imamac ( 1083405 )
        Sorry--I equate tethering and hotspot even though they are of course two compeltely different things. (Same result though.) And the impression of the news media (from what I'm reading) is that there was no additional cost.
        • The only reason I made the distinction, is that having a hotspot is a lot more flexible than just tethering support...

          I agree the impression is that it is free. But that's because they are too giddy and for some reason, actually trusting a wireless carrier.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Coren22 ( 1625475 )

            Tethering on Android costs like $10 a month, I doubt they would remove that cost from the iPhone. Also, I don't know what you are reading, but Verizon has unlimited smartphone plans by default, there are 2 GB caps on the portable hotspot devices.

            According to the VZW site, the plans are $15 for 150 MB or 29.99 for unlimited.

    • by Pojut ( 1027544 )

      Bad: No simultaneous voice/data.

      I hear people constantly bringing this up, but I fail to see why it's such a big deal. Be honest, AT&T iPhone owners: how often do you really use this feature? I'm sure there are certain folks (mostly those who use the iPhone for business purposes) where that's a big deal...but come on, for the average person, they will rarely if ever even notice.

      • by TooMuchToDo ( 882796 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @12:47PM (#34836728)

        Want to reference an email in Gmail while on a phone call? Doesn't work. Want to look at Google Maps to give directions while you're on the phone with someone? Doesn't work. Yes, no data/voice simultaneously is a big deal.

        • by nomadic ( 141991 )
          Huh, google maps doesn't give directions while you're on the phone already on AT&T.
          • It's a map. You're looking at it. You're talking to someone. *You're* giving directions to them, using your voice. On a phone.

            Presumably because they don't have a smartphone, otherwise you'd just email them the address and tell them to punch it into their map app.

          • I should've been more clear. 1) Someone calls me, asks me for directions to get where I'm at, provides their location 2) I punch into Google Maps, and speak back to them because they either don't have a data plan or a smart phone

            I have a Nexus One on T-Mobile and voice and data work together just fine, and the situation I presented as occurred before.

          • Yes it does... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @01:06PM (#34837070)

            Sure it does, I can look at google maps when on the phone, on an iPhone, on AT&T.

        • by Pojut ( 1027544 )

          I don't know how it works on the iPhone, but you can easily reference an email on an Android phone so long as the push has already been sent to your phone. You don't need an active connection to read them (again, as long as the push has reached your phone.)

          Of course, you could just connect to a wifi network, and that won't matter...

          • by TooMuchToDo ( 882796 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @12:57PM (#34836924)

            True. But if you're on the phone and they say "Sending you the email now", you're boned. You'll have to hang up, allow the data transmission, and then call them back.

            And if there is a wifi network around, more likely I'm using a laptop and not my phone.

            • by Pojut ( 1027544 )

              ::shrug:; I dunno, I guess it just seems like a non-issue to me because of how little I use my phone as a phone. (my wife and I are on a family plan, and last month between the two of us we had 33 minutes used. This compared to nearly 600 text messages and about 1.5GB of data.)

              • I'm on a business plan, and burned *checks T-Mobile's portal* 5628 minutes last month, and almost 6GB of data. Different needs for different folks.

                • by Pojut ( 1027544 )

        , yeah, ok, I see where you're coming from :)

                  Geebus...I don't think I've used that many minutes in the 14 years I've had a cell phone!

          • Yes the iPhone caches map data as well. Except that usually you don't pull up maps until you're already on the call. You're not saying that Android consumes bandwidth by AUTOMATICALLY downloading map data all the time, I would hope...

        • by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @01:54PM (#34837686) Homepage

          I'm not going to say "I've never have had this happen", because in the nearly five years I've owned an iPhone it has... three times I think. It's not actually all that common because of a factor you're not considering. You can simultaneously use voice and wifi. Usually (not always obviously, but usually) when I need to reference Internet stuffs while on the phone I'm in a static location where there's wifi. I wouldn't complain about the problem going away, mind you, but it's not really a huge issue most of the time.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by s73v3r ( 963317 )

          Presumably those who are already on Verizon have been aware of this limitation on their smartphones for a while, and have already adapted to it.

        • by brkello ( 642429 )

          Will that be true once LTE is rolled out? Considering LTE is a 3GPP standard (which is what AT&T uses) it should be able to support both.

      • I'm a little confused by whats meant by that.

        Does that mean if you are downloading a video from Youtube you won't be able to receive calls?

        Or just simply your downloads pause while talking on the phone?

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by imamac ( 1083405 )
        I use it daily. Once you have it, you don;t want to loose it.
      • I hear people constantly bringing this up, but I fail to see why it's such a big deal. Be honest, AT&T iPhone owners: how often do you really use this feature?

        My car broke down and I had to call my insurance company. They wanted to know the street address of my location. I was broke down outside a McDonald's. I had to leave my car, walk into the restaurant, and ask for the manager, since none of the underlings knew the street address. If I lived in a 3G area instead of Edge, I would have used that feature in a heartbeat.

      • by radish ( 98371 )

        When the iphone first launched on at&t it had the same restriction. The problem I had was that when using data (which I do a lot) incoming phone calls would go straight to voicemail. No idea if Verizon works the same way, but it was incredibly annoying at the time.

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot&worf,net> on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @01:06PM (#34837060)

          When the iphone first launched on at&t it had the same restriction. The problem I had was that when using data (which I do a lot) incoming phone calls would go straight to voicemail. No idea if Verizon works the same way, but it was incredibly annoying at the time.

          That's because GPRS/EDGE baseband doesn't support simultaneous voice+data, because there's only one transceiver. All the UMTS (3G HSDPA/HSUPA/HSPA) ones, in order to get higher speeds use channel bonding and multiple data contexts, which requires additional transceivers on additional channels. When a voice call comes it, it's just a control message to shut down a data context, switch a transceiver to the voice channel, and continue. The only thing that you'll notice is the data comes in a bit slower.

          As for LTE support - LTE rollout isn't everywhere, and LTE at the moment is only guaranteed for data - the voice path has not been fully ratified yet. No doubt you can run VoIP, but I'm sure the carriers are trying to figure a wya to limit the built-in VoIP to their network only in nice high priority while other VoIP services get stuck with regular data services...

      • by wygit ( 696674 )

        Mostly looking up maps while talking to someone.
        Or telling someone about something I saw on Amazon, and checking a feature...
        Or talking about an movie and checking IMDB to see who played *that* role in it.

        No, it's not necessary, just like 99% of the other features of smartphones.

      • The Data/Phone overlap problem has two grim issues: Route navigation while on the phone and referencing email. Both could be improved with some local caching.

        Email is cached locally, but only if you've opened the message before. I don't know the exact setup.

        Maps: nothing local, which is a pain. I'm not sure why Google Maps can't stash some map tiles on my phone and update them periodicly. It's not like it doesn't know where I spend most of my time [insert own basement/Bear Party joke here].

      • by rwven ( 663186 )

        The main thing that would be a big problem is that I frequently play WoW over my phone while tethering on AT&T. If I had verizon, was using the hotspot, got a call, and got disconnected from WoW, that would be supremely irritating.

      • Be honest, AT&T iPhone owners: how often do you really use this feature?

        I use this all the time. The most common use is looking at maps while talking to someone. The next is looking up something on the web (like a menu for a restaurant) while I'm talking to someone.

        Also while on a hands-free call on the phone, I prefer to leave Waze (free navigation app) running - that requires a network just like Google Maps.

        The very first iPhone had this issue on Edge, and I found it annoying. It's not a huge deal

      • by mlts ( 1038732 ) *

        I use this daily:

        1: On a call, and need to get an address from a phonebook for a friend, or a phone number.
        2: Calling to doublecheck weather because a relative is heading out of town.
        3: Hear about a cool new app, so flip to downloading it.
        4: While yapping on a long call, flip to E-mail to see if anything is going bad at work or elsewhere.
        5: While on a long call, pull up Facebook.

        So, not having this available is a deal-breaker.

      • by Jim Robinson Jr. ( 853390 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @01:19PM (#34837254)

        I beg to differ. As a Blackberry user with this limitation I find it incredibly annoying. This is my ONLY phone device and I frequently spent 4-6 hours / day in con-call meetings. When someone says "here... I'll send you that number (or whatever)..." I can't get it until hanging up.

        While I agree that the lack of simultaneous voice/data will not impact everyone, don't discount the importance of that in the business world.

    • I've been on CDMA for years, and this has never impacted me. I don't need Pandora playing while I'm trying to talk, and I don't care if my Youtube video stops caching in the background. I can't speak for the iPhone, but Android is smart enough to automatically resume a download after a call.

      • by wygit ( 696674 )

        It's like anything else.. you can't miss what you've never had.

        To the people who use it, it would be missed.
        No, I don't do Pandora, but I do occasionally use maps, Google, etc, while talking.

  • It will be interesting to see if this helps to even the playing field between the iPhone & Android. The only question is how many Verizon customers will hold out until the next gen because you can't talk & surf at the same time on Verizon's 3G network?
  • disconnect (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @12:43PM (#34836664) Journal

    What actually happens when a call comes in? Obviously any data streams stop, but if I have a laptop tethered will TCP connections get reset or is it like all of a sudden having dropped packets?

    • They get a busy signal? :)
    • I imagine it is similar to someone picking up a landline phone while you're on dial up.
    • Re:disconnect (Score:5, Informative)

      by renek ( 1301131 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @12:56PM (#34836908)

      What actually happens when a call comes in? Obviously any data streams stop, but if I have a laptop tethered will TCP connections get reset or is it like all of a sudden having dropped packets?

      That's exactly what happens. I travel a great deal for business and given that most hotel's WiFi tends towards the sucktastic side of speeds I tether my Droid constantly. When a phone call comes in the radio kills any data coming through it. The connection doesn't get a reset, the packets just stop coming.

    • You lose the connect and need to reconnect. I tethered with VZW a few years ago - every time a call came in it broke the data connection - just like pulling an ethernet plug. A real PITA.
  • by jandrese ( 485 ) <> on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @12:46PM (#34836726) Homepage Journal
    They refused to talk about the data plans? What is this, I don't even.

    Anyway, there were exactly 3 things of interest at the press conference:
    1. Verizon is getting the iPhone
    2. It will be CDMA only (no LTE, no simultaneous voice/data)
    3. It will allow a 5-person WiFi hotspot

    That's it. I would think if they're going to bother holding a press conference like this that they would be willing to talk a bit more about the device first, but no, it's was only the most minimal sip of information they could get away with divulging.

    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      Veriozon 3g is said to be slower than ATT.

      We get a new iPhone every summer. Who in their right mind who has waited all these years to get an iPhone, or has a current iPhone, is going to plunk down money for a phone that will be old tech in 4 months.

      The possible bit of good news from this conference is that tethering might be included in a data plan, or a lower price than ATT. This might force ATT to lower the tethering price, offer an unlimited voice plan.

      What we don't know is how Verizon network wi

  • Too late. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by orphiuchus ( 1146483 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @12:47PM (#34836736)
    This took way too long. I already caved and got myself a Android phone, which I'm very happy with.
    • This took way too long. I already caved and got myself a Android phone, which I'm very happy with.

      Agreed! Actually, I'd say "Too little, Too late"

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Too late for you, perhaps, but there will be many who will dump their Andriods for an iPhone.

        Should be interesting to see what effect this has on marketshare.

    • This took way too long. I already caved and got myself a Android phone, which I'm very happy with.

      That's okay, there's an update that will fix that for you...

  • No simultaneous voice/data? I guess the best way to make calls on the thing will be to use Skype over the WiFi hotspot.
    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      Or Skype over the cellular data connection. I'm not really sure why you'd want to use the voice channel. Too bad the cell companies still insist on charging you for it.

  • "If the press writes about something long enough and hard enough, eventually it comes true"

    They have that kind of superpower and are using it for an iPhone? What about cold fusion, hovercars, faster-than-light travel, and decent tasting frozen dinners?

    Oh, and that world peace stuff, too, I guess.

  • by darjen ( 879890 )

    3g is done. I'm waiting for a good 4g phone when my Droid's contract runs out.

    • by danaris ( 525051 )

      Hope your Droid's contract doesn't run out for another year and a half or so—or you live in one of the few big cities where LTE is being rolled out early—because otherwise, you're not going to find much out there. Or rather, you'll be able to get a bleeding-edge phone that supports LTE, but your service will still be entirely 2g/3g.

      Dan Aris

  • Sorry to sound negative, but I wonder how long it will be before Verizon remove both the unlimited data and the free tethering plans..? I suspect this will be something they offer only in the short term, to get people on board.

    It wouldn't surprise me if they bring a 500MB cap to the data plans in 2012 and also began charging for tethering, much like how providers such as Orange have done in the UK...

    I can live with 500MB, myself, but I know this annoys the living hell out of a lot of other people.

    • by radish ( 98371 )

      You mean the unlimited data and free tethering they haven't even announced yet? AFAIK all the reports around plan pricing are pure conjecture, I haven't seen anything official.

  • There is no way they are going to disclose what would be really interesting.

    What Verizon promised to give up to get iPhone? Most likely dropping or at least hobbling android. But no one would say how soon or how much.

    • Re:Mums the word. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MistrBlank ( 1183469 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @01:15PM (#34837194)

      They promised to give up the one thing that Verizon has held out on all this time, Verizon branding all over the phone.

      It will be verizon free, free of all the extra apps and crap they want installed on the system. It will remain an Apple device, exactly what Apple has always wanted and only AT&T would agree to.

      It hasn't been an exclusive agreement or Apple's will that kept the phone on AT&T, it's Verizon's vanity and need for control over a device that is yours to use.
      With LTE coming up, they didn't want to miss out on an iDevice for another generation of wireless data.

  • Awesome. (Score:4, Informative)

    by seebs ( 15766 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @01:15PM (#34837186) Homepage

    You may confidently assume that I'm counting the months on my AT&T contract, and will hop to Verizon when it's over.

    I really do value the iPhone in a number of ways, but dealing with AT&T has been a nightmare. I had tons of trouble with them in the past, but the most recent one is still fairly typical:

    My last payment to them apparently didn't make it. Now, I can show that the other three checks I mailed out the same night all got cashed, but whatever. Could be the post office, could be their mailroom, no one is ever likely to find out.

    1. The letter to me was hostile and sort of rude. I've never missed a payment before. Heck, I don't think I've had ANY payments late, for anyone, in the last four or five years. I don't think the first letter you send to a customer with a flawless payment record should make the assumption that it's their fault that you didn't get paid. I deposited the payment in the US Mail in a timely manner, assholes.
    2. So I called in. Navigated through a voicemail system. Which hung up on me.
    3. So I called in again. Navigated through a voicemail system. Got someone who made meaningless noises a lot but implied that things were all good.
    4. So I went to the web site to online-bill-pay it, and kept getting dropped on a page saying "the function you've selected isn't available". Turns out you have to have JavaScript on or the login page doesn't work. Noticed a late payment charge, which the previous rep had not mentioned.
    5. So I called in again, navigated through the same voicemail system, and got someone to ACTUALLY reverse the late payment fee.

    That was an awful lot of hassle given that the most likely explanation is that their mailroom lost something. No one I dealt with during the process seemed friendly.

    I call T-mobile sometimes, and they're always pleasant to talk to.

    • You think Verizon is going to be better?

      hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha *gasp*


    • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @02:43PM (#34838256) Homepage Journal

      Verizon is a phone company that doesn't know how to answer a phone, transfer a call, make a three-way call, or anything else involving phones.

      Their billing department plays games, randomly changing your bill by a few extra cents each month, even if you're on a set-amount negotiated by contract. Their CSAs (when and if you get through to one) will *say* they are doing everything to resolve your issues, but nothing happens.

      And then of course, my favorite: Sales guy swears up and down on a stack of bibles that your bill is going to be $89.99, plus a few taxes and fees. He'll tell you "About $114" when all is said and done. And you ask him again. So that's *everything* right? I won't get a huge bill with set-up fees and crap? He says "No. I guarantee your bill won't be over $114". Three weeks later the first bill arrives and it's $250. You then get to spend the next 6 months fighting with them over that bill. You will threaten to take them to court. You will write the Attourney State General, your Senators, your Congressmen. You will speak to every Vice-President Verizon has, wasting over $1000 of your time and theirs. Finally, they will agree to credit your bill. Except that no credit ever appears and you get to start all over again, or give up.

      That's the Verizon I know. I hope you faire better. All I know is that I wouldn't trust them to clean toilets, much less run critical infrastructure.

    • by aschlemm ( 17571 )

      You still write checks for payments? I set up payments on my bank account and so I just login to ATT's website or use the ATT application on my iPhone to see how much I owe.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @01:24PM (#34837306)

    After the announcement, I called ATT and asked for incentives to keep me on their network. I told them about the Verizon announcement, and offered to renew my contract if they would upgrade me to the iPhone 4 at no cost, and knock $15 off my month rate. They accepted the deal. ATT know the threat Verizon poses, and are eager to stop the bloodletting. I would encourage everyone who is willing to stick around to haggle.

    • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @01:46PM (#34837584) Homepage Journal

      Do better than that.

      Verizon will be allowing their iPhone to be a wifi hotspot (so it allows tethering) AND are offering unlimited plans.

      Demand the same from AT&T. I'm still on my unlimited plan but I cannot change ANYTHING else I will lose it; I can't change my phone number (which I want to do because clients keep calling me directly), I can't upgrade or downgrade minutes, add tethering, or change any other plan features or I will lose my unlimited data. I'm hoping AT&T will get a clue and bring back their unlimited plan and also allow the phone to be used as a wifi hotspot.

      Yes, I know you can tether via SSH (requires jailbreaking), but it's not the same and it is a bit of a pain.

      There is a huge down side to Verizon's iPhone though; it is CDMA so you won't get simultaneous voice and data. This means no surfing the web or checking email while waiting on hold with their customer disservice.

  • PERFECT SUMMARY (Score:5, Informative)

    by KuRa_Scvls ( 932317 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @01:35PM (#34837460)

    1.iPhone 4 comes to Verizon

    2.No Hardware improvements (NO LTE, NO upgrade to camera or memory or cpu or anything)

    3.Modified Antenna, not because of the Antennagate but because of the requirements of the CDMA

    4.Ability to become a wifi hotspot for up to 5 clients

    5.Volume buttons and mute switch on the left has been slightly moved, might not fit existing case.

    6.Minimum 2 year contracts, no further details except the price of $200 for 16GB and $300 for 32GB

    7.Available from 10th of February, 2011

    8.Simultaneous voice and data is not possible

    9.No bloatware

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.