The most frequently asked tech question since 2007: When will the iPhone come to Verizon? Four years and four device iterations later, Verizon and Apple have finally announced that the best smartphone has landed on the nation’s most reliable network. The iPhone 4 is coming to Verizon Wireless. The facts: On February 10 the iPhone 4 will be available for Verizon; $199.99 for the 16GB model, $299.99 for the 32GB variant, new two-year contract required. It will be available to purchase VZW Stores, Apple Stores, online at their respective websites, and at Apple Authorized Resellers. Qualified Verizon Wireless customers will have the exclusive opportunity to preorder the iPhone 4 online on February 3, ahead of general availability; if you’re currently a VZW customer check your pricing eligibility here.
The iPhone 4 and iOS 4 coming to Verizon is essentially the exact same hardware and software that’s been available on AT&T. Here are the four differences: (1) The external antenna array has been slightly altered so that the device can properly run on Verizon’s CDMA network (as opposed to AT&T’s GSM network). The only aesthetic change is one extra black notch located above the silent switch; note that this notch pushes down the silent switch and volume buttons just a bit, so new cases will have to be manufactured to properly fit that. It’s too early to tell if the death grip issue has been totally resolved in the new device, but Apple’s Tim Cook is confident that “it’s going to work great.” (2) The VZW iPhone 4 will act as a mobile WiFi hotspot for up to five devices. Inside Settings users will have the option to switch on Personal Hotspot to share the phone’s Internet connection with other WiFi enabled devices including laptops and tablets. This new functionality is built into iOS 4.2.5, so there is a possibility it might carry over to AT&T’s version of the phone at some point. (3) Simultaneous voice and data is not supported on Verizon’s CDMA network, so new iPhone owners will not be able to access the Internet while making a call (or vice-versa); +1 for AT&T’s network which can simultaneously hold a voice/data connection. (4) No global roaming support; again, advantage AT&T. Full PR after the break.
And there you have it. The Verizon iPhone has finally made it to fruition. Now what should you do? If your current contract is up and you’re due for a new phone, I advise not to purchase the VZW iPhone 4 this February. What am I crazy? No, actually, not really. Here’s the deal. Every summer since 2007 Apple has shipped a new iPhone device, so you can expect iPhone 5 to be revealed in the coming months with a late June or July release. Since Apple decided to stay conservative with today’s announcement, it wouldn’t be crazy to think that the next iteration of iPhone will pack support for Verizon’s super fast 4G LTE network, among other hardware updates. You’ve waited this long for iPhone to hit Verizon; what’s another five months? Think about it.