The arrival of the Verizon iPhone 4 has been cause for some celebration among Verizon customers and even some who are already using the phone on AT&T. In fact, virtually every smartphone customer is likely wondering if they should adopt one of the leading smartphones on the U.S.'s most reliable mobile network. These 12 facts may help you decide.
1. The Verizon iPhone is No Thicker or Heavier than the AT&T Model
Apple told me and my examination proves that these phones are like twins (more identical than fraternal). Both iPhones are 9.3 millimeters thick—still among the thinnest smartphones on the market.
2. The Antenna Design is Different for a Reason
It's no accident that the AT&T iPhone 4 and Verizon iPhone 4 antenna bands (around the phones) do not look exactly the same. The differences are hard to notice unless you hold the two phones side-by-side—as I did. The Verizon iPhone uses a CDMA network antenna. In fact, it uses two CDMA antennas (a necessary redundancy for the CDMA network). As a result, there are identical antenna band bar breaks on either side of the phone. By the way, Apple told me that, unlike GSM, the CDMA network actually works to give you a few more seconds of connectivity before the call breaks off completely. In other words, even on the worst connections, you may still be able to recover the call. I never had a bad enough connection to see this in action.
The Atrix 4G, which was launched at CES, will be priced at $199.99 for AT&T customers who sign a new two-year agreement. The Atrix 4G is expected to ship on March 6, the company said, while pre-orders begin on February 13th.
AT&T also said that it would offer a $499 bundle for both the Atrix tablet and the associated laptop dock, which will require the user to sign up for a two-year service contract, a Data Pro smartphone data plan, and and the tethering add-on fee, but receive a $100 rebate on top of that. That works out to a total of $45 per month for 4 GBs of data, according a company spokeswoman; customers would pay $25 for the Data Pro smartphone plan and $20 for the tethering add-on.
Otherwise, the user will have to pay $499 for the laptop dock himself.
The Galaxy S 4G is very similar to the existing Samsung Vibrant, a popular Android phone. It has the same 1-GHz Cortex-A8 processor, runs Android 2.2 on a similar 4-inch Super AMOLED screen, and has the same 5-megapixel camera. But it also has a front-facing 1-megapixel camera for video chat, that 4G modem, and a larger 1650 mAh battery, all of which the Vibrant lacks. Also, where the Vibrant comes pre-loaded with the movie "Avatar," this phone will come with "Inception."
AT&T is finally going on the offensive as the Verizon iPhone is set to launch later this month. In an email blast today, AT&T shows a woman talking on the phone while browsing Fandango for movie tickets. Below is a line that says AT&T is the play network that lets you talk and surf the web at the same time on your iPhone. Thing is, they're right, and they should totally be using this as a selling point. Sure, this isn't something we all do on a regular basis, but I've certainly done it a handful of times, and would have been frustrated if I weren't able to when I needed it.
There is no question that mobile phone payments are very popular, and that many of us can operate our entire financial lives from our mobile phones. Apps from PayPal, and Square can turn our iPhones into portable financial centers, allowing us to exchange money quickly and easily. These new applications are creating opportunities and benefits that will shape the future of mobile payments.
Predictions about the iPhone 5 and the iPad 2 are beginning to heat up, and much of the talk has been about the implementation of NFC (near field communication) technology. What we haven't heard about so far, is anything about native intergration of mobile payment solutions from Apple and Google.
Verizon Wireless will cease offering its monthly 150MB data plan, which costs $15, and by default will require all new smartphone users to adopt its existing $30 unlimited data plan.
During Verizon's fourth quarter earnings call on Tuesday morning, chief operating officer Lowell McAdam said the company was scrapping its $15/month 150 MB data plan this month.
A Verizon Wireless spokesman declined to offer any more details but confirmed Verizon would continue its $30 unlimited MB plan.
The announcement deals a direct blow to the original Apple iPhone carrier, AT&T, which had to scrap its unlimited data plan last summer. AT&T's metered data plans begin at $15 a month for 200MB. At the time, AT&T argued that 98 percent of its smartphone users consumed less than 2GB per month, and 65 percent consumed less than 200MB per month.
Last we heard from Apple on the white iPhone 4, it had been delayed for a third time, set to debut this Spring. However, the mythical phone has finally started appearing in the inventory management systems of places like Best Buy, Vodafone Germany, and AT&T. With AT&T, customers can even log in right now and see the white models listed in the model picker in the account management area. This is likely a sign that Apple is finally ready to unleash the white model upon us, but really, who wants to buy a white iPhone 4 now when iPhone 5 is right around the corner? Anyone?
Wanna see how VZW is pushing the Verizon iPhone? Check out their first iPhone commercial, which focuses on the amount of time that customers have been waiting for the Apple smartphone to arrive. Great concept.
AT&T customers, get ready for new text messaging rates to go into effect starting next week. As the Verizon iPhone approaches, the company is looking to make their plans look a bit more attractive, and not so different from what Verizon will be offering. Above is an image leaked out of Best Buy showing that AT&T will have two text messaging plans going forward. The first is a new $10 per month for 1000 text messages (with each additional costing $.10,) while the second is the $20 unlimited text plan ($30 for family plans.) Going away are the $5/200 message and $15/1500 message plans. If you're a current customer on one of those plans, you are grandfathered in and can hold onto it, but new customers won't have those choices starting on January 23rd. Also on that day, AT&T will be raising activation fees.
We're not sure how much this will do to keep people from jumping ship, but it certainly makes the texting plans a little clearer. Also, be sure to check out how Best Buy plans to convince customers to choose the AT&T iPhone. War is upon us!
If you're planning to get a new smartphone on Sprint, you should probably do so in the next couple of weeks. After Jan. 30, data plans for smartphones activated on the carrier will go up in price by $10 a month, the company announced today.
Called "Premium Data," the mandatory charge is added to the Sprint's existing unlimited $70 Everything Data plan, pumping it up to $80 a month. Sprint says the increase is to address its users' "growing appetite for a richer mobile experience." The charge affects only smartphones activated Jan. 30 or later—existing customers will not experience the increase until they upgrade.
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