It's been the source of much clamor: the best smartphone on the States' best network. And today the clamor finally became official. Aside from an integrated tethering function, everything about the Verizon iPhone is the same as its AT&T brother.
The phone, as you already know from our live coverage, is exactly the same, hardware wise, excepting a revision of the phone's much-maligned external antenna to better suit Verizon's CDMA signals. There are two of the infamous Death Grip seams on each side of VZW's iPhone (top and bottom), compared to just one per side for the AT&T model, whose top seam next to the headphone jack has been eliminated in the VZW version.
The main difference, of course, is the network. As expected, Apple and Verizon opted to include 3G radios only, eliminating the need to engineer around what would have been a significant battery challenge had the phone been able to use VZW's new 4G LTE network.
Cellular network tests are never foolproof, but in a quick side-by-side usage here on a mid-level floor in Manhatta's Time Warner Center (with lots of big windows), Verizon's network was faster, but not hugely so. Here we load PopSci side-by-side:
One new thing on the phone itself is Verizon's personal hotspot feature, which allows up to five other computers and phones to share the 3G connection over Wi-Fi. This is turned on and off in the phone's preferences, which has options for Bluetooth and USB tethering as well. Using this hotspot feature, I tethered my AT&T iPhone and ran some tests with the Speedtest app.
As you can see, Verizon's tests (those performed on Wi-Fi) captured the best average upload and download speeds (142 Kbits/s and 1968 Kbits/s respectively). The first test I ran on AT&T (marked 3G in the chart) actually came fairly close to these speeds (and as you can see in the pageload video above, AT&T wasn't creamed). AT&T's network actually has greater upload capacity than Verizon's, so those numbers were very similar.
(Somewhat interestingly, I held my fingers over the two lower Antenna seams on the Verizon phone for its second test, and as you can see, it doesn't seem to have made a difference).
It's the second AT&T test, however, that many hope will become a distant memory once their iPhones are on Verizon. When the network is clogged, data connections become unreliable and intermittent (here rating just 164 Kbits/s down and 130 Kbits/s up in Speedtest).
In terms of technical capacity, AT&T's UMTS and Verizon's EV-DO 3G networks are not significantly different in day to day use. With a clear connection and a relatively uncrowded network, both perform very well. In fact, AT&T actually emerged the winner in a fairly rigorous nationwide 3G network test I helped organize for Gizmodo in 2009.
Where things get dicey is when the network is clogged, and with "tens of millions of iPhones sold," the likelihood of an AT&T traffic jam wherever you may be increases by the day. Will the same thing happen to Verizon? We'll have to wait and see come February.
What's left for AT&T now but to go out of business or hang out the "For Sale" sign?
I'm perfectly content with the "Closed for Business" sign.
Looking forward to the end of AT&T; a smug and arrogant company that seems to think that they can treat their customers any way they want because their customers have no other choice but to deal with them. Good riddance!
Screw you verizon. free wireless hotspot. why do i need to root my android phone to get it free. Android as a great UI and if you don't like it almost anyone can put it one of many custom ui floating in the android world. you can debate whats better but can't debate that Android deserves the same rights as apple. free wireless hotspot for all or none! I think android customers have done you well verizon maybe show some gratitude
Verizon getting an Iphone would be great for all the users who are looking forward to it.
You know iPhone sells so better because it’s the only smartphone that is as powerful as a Mac and as easy to use as an iPod. Period. I like iPhone 4, it’s so fatastic and got top 4 tempting features, HD Video Recording and lovely pictures.
Here, Everything you need to know the iphone 4 and the different between iphone3G adn iphone 4
Apparently, version iphone 4 is more suitable for us.
What nobody is factoring in currently is the networks that carry the equipment. Being as this is a technology oriented website this should be a deciding factor. Currently (as of the press release and due to Verizon's trigger happy attitude towards getting the Iphone) the Iphone being released onto Verizon's network is going to be a 3g Iphone 4. Same hardware with new CDMA chipset. The problem lies in the fact that Verizon's current 3g network is EVDO and CANNOT operate simultaneous voice and data. Not only that but being as Verizon uses the same channel for voice and data on the 3g network if their networks data usage begins to exceed forecasted capacity their voice quality will go to the dogs. And vice versa as well (if voice network begins to exceed capacity data speeds will suffer tremendously). By no means am I an ATT fan boy and I abhor the Iphone in and of itself for Jobs' inflexibility regarding 3rd party developement, but I am an ATT customer for the fact that I like the ability to be able to talk on the phone and surf the web at the same time with no adverse effects on my usage habits. Yes, ATT has recieved some VERY harsh criticism regarding network coverage and dropped calls etc, and this is WITH a dual channel GSM technology in place to allow voice to be used on one channel and data on the other. Can you IMAGINE whats going to happen on Verizon's 3g network when just their existing customer base upgrades to Iphones and data use spikes(all the while attempting to maintain its current voice usage)? SO they're going to load all that data and voice usage onto one channel? Frankly, ATT isn't going to go anywhere, that's like saying Southwestern Bell is going to go bankrupt. It's ludicrous. Yes they've had issues with their network, but the Iphone revolutionized the cell phone industry at ATT and paved the way for todays LTE hopes. Has any revolution in history ever been without bloodshed? The true difference between the networks is going to be highlighted once people start to jump the bandwagon and get Iphones at Verizon and ralize that they are going to pay the same amount of money for their services to get lesser data speeds and lose the ability to talk and surf at the same time. It just doesn't make logical sense to tout Verizon's Iphone 4 as an ATT killer. Show me an LTE Iphone 4 exclusively for Verizon and then we'll talk, but until then people need to be informed consumers and do their research, rather than going by what the saw on twatface or fishbook. This is a logical website people, lets stop using conjecture and get the facts straight.
There are always pros and cons to any decision.
Sure, AT&T has a marginally faster 3G network and you can talk and surf at the same time. For most people in urban and suburban areas, all the carriers are about the same in terms of coverage, so AT&T has the advantage. But if you live in a rural area or frequently travel through rural areas, it's a moot point. If you can't get a 3G signal on At&t but you can on Verizon, verizon wins the speed war. Just look at the coverage maps.
There are also a lot of places west of the Mississippi where Verizon has a solid signal and AT&T has none. I'd rather be able to talk OR surf than be able to do neither.
I have a 3GS, still on contract until August. I will wait it out because the next iPhone will be out this summer. At that point I'm switching to Verizon because I live in a smaller city in New Mexico. Around town the coverage is great, but outside city limits I'm lucky to get a usable Edge signal. And that's along interstate highways going back and forth between AZ, NM, CO, UT and TX.
AT&T had their chance the past year or so to improve coverage, and they failed. Come fall I'm back on Verizon.
It takes a lot more than an antenna change!
The hardware 'inside' is not the same.
AT&T is GSM.
Verizon is CDMA (advanced 3G, not TRUE 4G)!
An AT&T GSM iPhone will NOT work on a Verizon CDMA network!
Pay a little more attention to what I actually wrote and you'll see the problem. Don't be so quick to give up your ATT service. The same way that ATT's network was crushed under the strain of the Iphone, Verizon's infrastucture stands to take a SIZEABLE beating. Not only that, from press releases, it appears that Apple isn't going to be supplying a 4G Iphone in the near future (at least no time this year). They just retooled the ATT Iphone for a CDMA chipset and are working on a retooled Iphone 4 currently. I doubt with the advances that they made with the 4 that anything is going to be truly groundbreaking enough to call it an Iphone 5. But, then again Steve Jobs is an unscrupulous profit monger, so I wouldn't put it past him to tweak the guts and give the procesor a smidgen more power and cash in on the American populace. Based on his track history it wouldn't surpise me at all. People need to wait and see whats going to happen in relation to network strain before deciding to make any changes. This does promote some pretty healthy competition in the market, but ATT has some pretty progressive things lined up in regards to HSPA+ in conjunction with LTE. Historically ATT does not deploy new technologies until they are able to do so with the vast majority of the markets that they occupy, right now with the release of HSPA+ ATT has blanketed almost 90% of their footprint with those speeds where applicable. Not only that, they are the ONLY provider committed to LTE and HSPA+. What that means to America is that when ATT does deploy LTE and you move out of an LTE footprint, you will still have a faster download speed with HSPA+ than you ever would with EVDO 3G. Why would a company thats taken such a market hit deploy without certainty that they could provide their existing customer base with exceptional service when its ready. The thing that upsets me about Verizon the most (and I have been a Verizon customer) is the fact that they deploy to select markets (I.E the most profitable) and then charge their customers (regardless of whether or not they utilize or have access to said service) additional non-negotiable fees JUST TO HAVE "4G" DEVICES. Do the research. It's not BS its fact. So hey, 10 markets in the U.S have true "4G" capability but lets charge everyone that wants a "4G" capable phone the extra money. Profit hoarding at its best. So even in those "rural areas" you're still going to get taxed, even if you don't have 4G. And lets be real here, people choose to live in rural areas, chalk that up to a 30 minute commute to work, no grocery store in the area, lack of decent restaurants. We as Americans find ample reasons to whine about decisions we make ourselves and claim them to be "not fair". You choose to live in the sticks, be prepared to make a call with two cans and some string if it comes down to that. Country living is supposed to be country living, not I wanna live in the country but have every amenity that the city offers. Lets not start garbling everything together. If you're gonna respond, lets put together a logical argument LOL.
I know Macs suck, but iPhones aren't even close to as powerful as a full Mac computer.
Sorry, Chris58, but it's the truth.
Does Verizon have any 850 Frequencies? As I understand 1900 PCS does not penetrate buildings as well as an 850 signal will. In most areas the first and second UMTS carrier (3G) AT&T Mobility uses are 850, there are some exceptions due to licensing. I currently have an iPhone 4 on AT&T Mobility of course and have few problems. I have to carry a 2G Blackberry for work also and where I have problems talking on it I can often make calls with my iPhone 4. I'll admit I don't use it often, but I do like the ability to be on a call, then go to a data based app for some bit of information I want to relay to the person I'm talking to. I welcome those who want to leave AT&T Mobility and go to the Verizon iPhone if for no other reason then I won't have to listen to their whining any longer. Let's see how the Verizon network holds up after they are bombarded with iPhone users and our heavy data appetite. You have to choose the network that gives you the best coverage where you live and work and the customer service you expect. I've been a customer of both Verizon and AT&T Mobility and have had both good and bad experiences with each. It should be interesting.
I fundamentally disagree with the description "the best smartphone". Some people seem to take it as an article of faith that if it's an Apple product, it's automatically the best and that's not always the case. These people seem to have internalized the marketing-driven hype surrounding Apple products, and the facts don't always bear out that conventional wisdom.
It's been a while since the iPhone was cutting edge or in a class by itself. In the years since the release of the original, other manufacturers have come to market with phones that meet or exceed iPhone standards in every measure. Examples include the HTC Evo, the Samsung Galaxy S series, and other top-tier handsets running both Android and Windows Phone 7.
Claiming Apple is automatically the best is like saying Ferrari is automatically the best and thus ignoring the existence of viable competitors like Lamborghini, high-end Porches, Bugatti, and the rest of the elite supercar category.
This means AT&T has got problems now, they are going to have to improve coverage or they are going to lose customers to Verizon left and right.
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