Verizon iPhone : Ruminations and deliberations

February 11th, 2011 § 0 comments

There is lots of talk about the Verizon iPhone but I’m just going to touch on a few of the questions that I find most interesting.

  1. Is the launch a hit or a flop?
  2. Is simultaneous voice and data that important?
  3. Should I switch from AT&T?

Hit or miss?

The pre-orders for existing Verizon customers sold out very quickly but the anticipated lines at retail stores never materialized. In hindsight this actually makes sense. The pre-orders sold out quickly because existing Verizon customers dearly want their new gadget. I think there are a few factors for why the lines at retail outfits were underwhelming.

  • No new gadget : for AT&T customers that are going to switch they don’t get anything new out of it. While Verizon is a better carrier you aren’t going to walk out of the store with a new toy to play with. It will be the same toy it just works better as a phone.
  • Contracts : I’m interested in switching but I’m not going pay hundreds of dollars to do so
  • Weather : iPhones have always been released in the summer and in most places it’s damn cold

I think the true measure of how successful the Verizon iPhone launch is won’t come for a few quarters. I’m very interested to see what happens this summer when users are looking at upgrading their iPhone and considering an upgrade to their carrier at the same time. And it will be warmer.

Simultaneous Voice & Data

This is something that I’ve always been on the fence about. I haven’t needed to use the internet while I was talking on the phone very many times, but when I have it’s been incredibly useful and time saving. Being able to pull up maps and use GPS to get your exact location in an unknown city or look up movie times while trying to make a plan come to mind. Again these aren’t frequent occurrences but it’s been hard for me to simply throw them under the bus so I might have better coverage.

Ironically it was John Gruber’s Verizon iPhone review that pushed me firmly into one camp. It’s a great review but his fawning over the WiFi hotspot right before he dismisses the simultaneous voice/data limitation caught me as odd. The image that popped into my head was of someone sitting in a hotel room, using their iPhone as a hotspot to check their email on their computer while they prepare for a telephone meeting. Phone rings and 5 minutes into the meeting someone says “check out this webpage/email”. Now what do you do? Scramble to connect to your incredibly expensive hotel wifi?

Yes this is another rare instance but the point still stands. The WiFi hotspot is a fantastic feature but it makes Verzion’s lack of simultaneous data & voice an even bigger drawback.

Switch from AT&T?

Nah. I’m barely into my two year contract and I’m just not interested in going through all the hassle of selling my phone on ebay so I can have better phone calls. When iPhone 6 hits and we have 4G I’ll be singing a very different tune though.


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