The Verizon iPhone rumors can finally be given validity as Verizon and Apple formally announce that the smartphone will be available to the Verizon Network. Consumers had expected this announcement to come during the CES 2011 which just wrapped up, however, not a word was spoken by Verizon, and Apple didn’t even show up to the year’s biggest electronics event. Despite Apple’s absence and Verizon’s tight-lipped stance, rumors galore circulated throughout the CES.
Today’s press conference divulged that existing Verizon customers will be able to pre-order the iPhone beginning on Feb 3, and both new and existing customers will be able to purchase the iPhone in stores and online beginning Feb 10.
There had been hopes that the iPhone for Verizon would be the first of several smartphones to operate on Verizon’s upcoming release of their 4G LTE, however this is not the case. The CDMA only phone will operate on the existing 3G network in the United States only, with Apple citing that the 4G capability required design compromises in the iPhone that they simply were not willing to make. Being a CDMA only phone may rule out certain business class customers who travel abroad, but it will not likely harm Verizon’s revenue significantly.
The Verizon iPhone looks, feels, and weighs exactly like the AT&T iPhone. There are two small differences, one being that the Verizon iPhone will be able to serve as a hotspot for up to five devices, providing them access to the Verizon data network, something which the AT&T iPhone is unable to do. AT&T’s version of the smartphone can tether to other devices though, such as laptops. The second noticeable difference is that the Verizon iPhone will not be able to simultaneously handle voice calls and data calls, something that the AT&T iPhone is able to do.