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Verizon iPhone: Not the dream phone after all

JP Mangalindan 2011年01月14日


The Verizon iPhone 4. Not all that different-looking from the AT&T version.

    Earlier today, Verizon Wireless finally confirmed its worst-kept secret, and most-lusted after gadget, of the last 12 months: an iPhone running on Verizon's service.

    Unfortunately, what the mobile carrier revealed was not exactly the dream phone some subscribers had hoped for. Sure, Verizon got the iPhone 4, and no doubt users will benefit from the carrier's arguably better reception, but there were also some unexpected strings attached:

    No 4G. Though Verizon handsets don't yet support it, the timing of this announcement seemed primed for speculation. Would this CMDA-friendly version of the iPhone support the new Long Term Evolution (LTE) network? No dice. Looks like subscribers will have to wait a little longer, at least until the iPhone 5 hits later this year.

    Potential antenna issue (again). Many tech aficionados likely remember antennagate, the PR nightmare Apple experienced once critics discovered that holding the iPhone 4 left-handed could inhibit reception and call quality. Though the Verizon iPhone 4 has a CMDA-specific antenna, Apple COO Tim Cook implied the change was merely aesthetic, and when asked by a member of the media regarding possible antenna issues, Cook deflected, choosing neither to confirm or deny the possibility that they've solved the problem here.

    No simultaneous data and voice. This could be a deal-breaker for all you multitasking smartphone users. Having the iPhone 4 operate according to Verizon's current CMDA specifications means that users won't be able to make phone calls and consume data -- email, text, browse the Internet -- at the same time. For many, this may be a non-issue, but hardcore techies at the event were not pleased to hear Verizon and Apple deflect this issue by saying they'd rather give users what they want -- an iPhone 4 -- sooner rather than later at the expense of features like this one.

    Unlimited data plan MIA? This last point will likely be confirmed in the weeks to come, but given all the positive feedback that Verizon iPhone users would be able to sign up for unlimited data, it's rather bizarre that the mobile carrier would delay such great news. We're not saying it won't happen, but if it's that's the case, why not give the media another great bit of news to chomp on right now?

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