iPhone Technology

No iPhone for you! (Until now)

New York Times: “Well, not all the states. The people of North and South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming — as if they needed a reminder that they live off the beaten path — had to watch the rest of the nation fawn over their must-have gadgets.”

I had no idea there were entire states not covered by AT&T.

Apple iPhone

Universal iPhone?

Tiggers are wonderful things!CNN: “While the new iPhone will only work on Verizon’s network, the Qualcomm chip Apple is using in these new models is capable of connecting to Verizon’s network, as well as to carriers using the GSM standard, which is what AT&T and T-Mobile USA have.”

Yesterday I was goofing around and tweeted the iPhone V was going to be available on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Could it be?


iPhones, Plans, and Bargains, Oh My

Verizon iPhone 4 Pre-Sales

Mashable: “If you’re a mobile operator, it’s good to have an iPhone in your inventory. This was proven Thursday as Verizon’s first day of iPhone 4 pre-orders turned out to be the most successful first day of sales in the history of the company.”

I’d imagine that will leave the Apply nay sayers a bit perturbed. The big question for Verizon: will the network hold up under the new load?

Major Carriers Mobile Plans

AHHHHHH!Fortune: “But now that Verizon (VZ) has the iPhone, many Americans will be taking a closer look at how the rate plans stack up. To help them choose, the cost-saving service BillShrink has produced a handy chart — copied in full below the fold — of the various plans offered by the four major U.S. carriers.”

Nice look at your options on the different carriers. They’re all pretty close, but Sprint and T-Mobile are pushing hard for your business. No iPhones, but plenty of really nice Android phones.

Looking for a Bargain? Try Virgin Mobile.

Fortune: “As I’ve stated before (and I still can’t understand how they do this) Virgin, who use Sprint’s(S) very solid nationwide 3G network, blow them all away by a long shot. For $25 a month (that’s AFTER tax) unlimited data and text, 300 anytime minutes. $40/month bumps you up to 1200 anytime minutes and $60 is unlimited minutes.”

This is pretty darned amazing. $25.00 for 300 minutes with UNLIMITED text and data? Makes me go hmmmmm. Especially if you can get a nice Android phone with tethering.

Business iPhone Life Mobile

Survey says!

TechCrunch: “When AT&T’s monopoly on the iPhone ends in the U.S., it is not going to be pretty. With increasing evidence that Verizon is preparing to offer the iPhone 4 early next year, many people are waiting before buying one or upgrading. Many of those are existing AT&T customers who want the same phone on a better network. According to a new survey by market research firm Morpace, 34 percent of AT&T iPhone owners are waiting for the iPhone to be available on another carrier before upgrading, and a full 47 percent of current AT&T iPhone owners say they would consider switching to Verizon. So almost half of AT&T customers surveyed are not completely satisfied with AT&T’s network.”

If Verizon gets an iPhone, the jury is still out, this could be a really good thing for iPhone customers currently on AT&T. It may mean those that do not bail will have a much better network, especially if a whole bunch of them jump ship for Verizon. You know how polls are, you have to take them with a grain of salt, but this one does make for great “iPhone on Verizon” fodder.

You’d also need to take a look at the number of people that just upgraded to the iPhone 4. I’m fairly certain AT&T’s new, higher priced, penalty for canceling your contract will keep a lot of folks on their network for the next two years.

It’ll also be very interesting to see if the iPhone can make a dent in the Android juggernaut at Verizon. I’m not so confident it will. Android based phones are pretty darned nice and they come in all different shapes and sizes now, one to suit every need. Drop the iPhone in the mix and you may see some very aggressive pricing of Android phones on Verizon. Stir in an average person that wants a smart phone and you may see a lot more Android’s on the street. For some the iPhone has lost its’ luster, especially since you can get an Android phone that comes fairly close. Who knows, with the mystique surrounding the iPhone and Verizon customers clamoring for the device it may be a day one hit. Remember the “I don’t care” video, yeah, that phenomenon.

We’ll all have to wait and see.

Just make sure you get the one with the Bigger GB’s and the WiFi.


iPhone on Verizon, yay or nay?

Dead Zones [hat tip Chris Ledoux]: “Contrary to what many Apple “Fanboys” want you to believe, Verizon will not be getting the iPhone any time soon. After speaking with various anonymous wireless industry experts over the last few weeks we have compiled our top 10 reasons why the rumor is false:”

Go read the bullet list, it’s quite good, and a number of the reasons make complete sense, others not so much, but overall it’s good. Especially the bullet point about the network, which is probably the single biggest reason Apple wouldn’t venture into a deal with Verizon.

What about the network? Well the short of it is Verizon is based on CDMA while AT&T is GSM based. If you’re a Verizon customer and you travel outside the US, your phone essentially becomes a big brick in your pocket, and you can’t use data and voice at the same time on CDMA. That’s it in a nutshell.

Once Verizon rolls out their new LTE based network it’s a whole new ball game.


iPhone to Verizon January 2011

Business Week: “Verizon Wireless, based in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, will begin offering the iPhone on its network in January, ending the exclusivity AT&T has held since the device’s introduction in 2007, two people familiar with the plans said this week.”

I’ll be interested in two things: 1) How many folks will convert from AT&T to Verizon on day one, 2) How well will Verizon’s network hold up under the new strain?


Naughty AT&T

Computerworld: “Like it did with the Backflip, AT&T has removed the option to install unofficial apps onto its new HTC Aria phone. If something’s outside of the Android Market — a beta program such as Swype, for example, or one of several tethering apps offered only through developers’ Web sites — you won’t be able to install it; the option to do so is mysteriously missing from the “Applications” settings menu where it’d typically be found.”

Apple Google iPhone

Marco on Android and Verizon

RibbitMarco Arment: “Droid isn’t actually “close enough” to the iPhone in most important ways, but in marketing and customer perception, it doesn’t matter. Apple can’t win this fight on quality and overall experience because most of these customers have never owned iPhones. They don’t know what they’re missing. They just know what the Verizon marketing told them: Droid phones are pretty much like the iPhone. When they encounter all of Android’s rough edges, they assume that all smartphones are like that, and grow to generally dislike using them. (Much like the computer market.)”

I’m finding that most folks, of the geeky variety, that have Android based phones tend to have them for philosophical reasons. “They’re more open”, “Apple is EVIL”, “I can’t make the app I want”, “AT&T sucks.” Typical geek reasoning. The normal folks mainly don’t care if the phone is iOS or Android or Symbian or Windows Mobile. They mainly care about the User Experience(UX) of the thing, and that they can find an application for locating their favorite restaurant and make reservations at the touch of a button, or they can check Facebook or Twitter and update their location on Four Square and Gowalla.

Another thing most people do care about is call quality and not dropping calls. If you follow Marco, he lives in New York, you should note that he has issues with Verizon as a carrier. Dropped calls, lack of signal, etc. It’s just like AT&T, it just depends on where you live as to the experience. In Fresno, where my brother lives, Verizon has a great network. There was a time when a Verizon based phone wouldn’t work inside my house, but an AT&T phone would. It’s all about where you are. Hopefully AT&T gets their act together and expands their network with all the cold hard cash they’re making from Apple fans. Heaven knows they’re only going to get more subscribers that use more data. Trust me, data usage is only going to go up now that they have tethering. If they don’t improve their network there could be a massive rush to Verizon at some point, at which time we’ll discover if Verizon can really offer a better experience with the iPhone. Something tells me, it’ll be about the same.

And, yes, I’m well aware of the major differences between AT&T and Verizon’s network. AT&T’s is much better for a couple of different use cases. One: Using the internet while on the phone. Two: Using your phone outside of the US, on Verizon if you went to Europe you’d have a paperweight in your pocket. Not so with AT&T.

And Marco’s closing statement of “I’m guessing a CDMA Verizon iPhone will be available within 6 months. If it isn’t, I might need to start learning Java.” tells you where he’s leaning.

Apple iPhone

AT&T and Android

Mashable / Mobile: “AT&T is bulking up its Android roster with a new phone: the HTC Aria. It promises to be faster and more capable than the Motorola BACKFLIP and the Dell Aero.”

It would seem that Apple is definitely getting the short end of the stick here. AT&T has exclusive rights on iPhone, but they’re still doing deals with other phone makers. It’s no skin off my nose, but it sure seems like it’s a bad deal for Apple, right?

As an aside. HTC is really pounding out some great phones, and I love their UI/UX enhancements to the Android OS. Really great stuff.


Verizon and iPhone Revisited

RibbitMarco Arment: “I’ve been a Verizon Wireless customer since 2004: phones for the first 4 years, and data via tethering and EVDO modems for the entire time. I recently upgraded to a MiFi 2200 and renewed my data contract for another 2 years. I’ve traveled all over the east coast, mostly in New York, using Verizon voice and data services (data-only in the recent years), and I use their data service every day in Manhattan and the surrounding area.

It’s not that great. Among the problems I’ve had:”

Matt Drance: “Technical limitations notwithstanding, Verizon has a long history of forcing partners to remove or alter smartphone features, and add its own. Marco Arment talked about this just yesterday. The story appears to be improved in the Droid era, but it’s still a likely point of contention in any Apple-Verizon negotiations: iPhone either works the same on Verizon as it does everywhere else, or not at all.”

Even though I believe Verizon will offer the iPhone some day, their network and business practices do have warts, just like AT&T.