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iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

Verizon iPhone

Last week, Apple finally announced the long awaited iPhone for the Verizon mobile network. After years of rumor and innuendo, American cell phone users who want a choice of cell phone carriers and Apple’s latest and greatest smartphone will soon have the option to purchase it on an alternate network, but it is worth it?

The major change between the two phones is CDMA vs GSM. AT&T works on GSM, a world standard for cell phone signals. This means that travelling outside the US is a possibility with an AT&T iPhone, but not with the Verizon iPhone. CDMA is an American created standard meant to carry a stronger phone signal, but is not used outside of the few American carriers that support it. The advantage of using the Verizon iPhone is less probability of dropped calls and better signals for phone calls.

Unfortunately, CDMA cannot handle a voice call and data call simultaneously. For those on Droids on Verizon, receiving emails is common after hanging up the phone. If being able to send email, surf the web and do other data intensive tasks beyond playing with apps, the AT&T iPhone is the only choice.

The Verizon iPhone has been shown to introduce one new feature that has not been shown in the AT&T iPhone, the ability to use the phone as a Wifi Hotspot.  By going into the settings menu, the phone can be used to connect to the internet via bluetooth, wifi or usb. The bluetooth and usb are a one to one phone to computer connection, but the wifi can be shared by up to five devices simultaneously.

Before getting in line to purchase the Verizon iPhone, there are two things to keep in mind. The first is that the iPhone is refreshed every June and the Verizon iPhone is being released in February. With that time frame, the question of the next generation iPhone being released in June makes one wonder if the Verizon iPhone will be upgraded with the AT&T one or will CDMA users be a generation behind? The other thing to keep in mind is that Verizon is currently rolling out its high speed LTE (aka 4G) network, which would give much higher data speeds, but the iPhone will not be using it. With Android phones being prepped to take advantage of these higher speeds for data, will the iPhone be left behind for an entire generation or will an upgrade come along sooner rather than later?

Should you upgrade to the Verizon iPhone, be it switch from another network or upgrade your existing Verizon phone? That is up to you. If you want the iPhone, but don’t want to use AT&T’s clogged network (and who is to say Verizon won’t see any issues with the spike in usage), then by all means upgrade to the Verizon iPhone 4. Personally, I will stay with my Droid and see how the iPhone fares on Verizon Wireless and how the upgrade path corresponds with AT&T’s before deciding.

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