Verizon and the iPhone


Until very recently, I have been firmly in the ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ camp as regards Verizon Wireless getting the iPhone. But it is official and I honestly fail to see how this isn’t a good thing for Verizon, Apple, and yes, even AT&T iPhone customers (if not exactly great for AT&T itself). 


People are going to be lined up around the block at Verizon stores, and Apple stores, to get that phone on that network. I can’t say I blame them. Several years ago - before I switched to what was then SunCom to be on my wife’s cell plan - I was a Verizon Wireless customer. And I had no complaints about the network at all. Nary a dropped call. Of course my phone sucked because it was the free one, and I didn’t use any data, but there you go. 


To be fair, I have honestly had very few issues with AT&T. Certainly not the issues that many others have had. We lived in an apartment for a while that got grap cell reception, but we moved before the iPhone came out. Erin owned the first iPhone and we’ve owned one of each except the 3GS. We don’t travel for business, and when we do travel, we’re usually either out of the country and don’t want to pay for data or near enough to a major city or interstate that we get good 3G reception. Long story short - our use case is such that we have no problems with the AT&T network. Lucky I guess.


And one must realize that there are going to be tradeoffs. AT&T has a weaker network and less-robust tethering modes. Verizon’s CDMA won’t allow voice and data at the same time and we still don’t know how much their data or tethering plans are going to cost (I can’t imagine they’ll be very different, though). Apple is going to ensure that as much as possible, iPhone owners have the same experience regardless of carrier. But carriers are carriers and they do what carriers do, not always to the benefit of their subscribers. 


A lot of people are going to jump on the Verizon iPhone, and a fair number will switch from an AT&T iPhone to the Verizon version. This is a win for everyone - except perhaps AT&T. Verizon customers get a great phone on a great network. AT&T customers stand to benefit from increased competition (AT&T will have to do something to improve their network to compete for new subscribers). And we all win when there are more iOS devices in the hands of consumers because that drives app development. 


I’m sticking with AT&T for now but I am very happy that the iPhone is coming to verizon. iPhones for everyone!