Is the Verizon iPhone 4 disappointing?

Published: January 11, 2011

Many have awaited this day for over three years. Not too long ago, the iPhone 4 became official on Verizon. In just under one month, the device will be launching on their network, CDMA in tow. Now that it's here and we know what it has to offer, are people going to be flocking to Big Red for their Apple phone? Or will they be holding out?

Since the device has been rumored and hyped for over three years now, people have grown confident that if it did ever come to Verizon, it would have more to offer than previous models. Being 2011 and according to Apple's one-year refresh tendencies, most hoped it would be the iPhone 5. Dreamers were hoping for LTE connectivity, FaceTime over Verizon's super fast LTE network, and other things cell phones are supposed to do like walk the dog, wash the car, etc.

Instead, Apple and Verizon have teamed up to release old news on an aging network. The Verizon iPhone will be running on CDMA, which means no FaceTime over the network (only over Wi-Fi) and no simultaneous voice and data. However, this doesn't mean it won't sell well. It has two unique features to boot. Most notably, a network that, based on my usage, has far better coverage in many areas. Albeit slower data speeds, the consistency alone will pull many users from AT&T over to Verizon. Having the Wi-Fi hotspot is also one step up from the previous model, just pray you don't get any incoming calls though. Your connection will be dropped.

About a month ago, one analyst firm predicted that 2.2 million users would ditch their AT&T iPhones and cash in on the one with a big red check mark on it. After the announcement, I think that number is a little high. Seeing that an iPhone 5 will probably be scheduled to hit in June or July, I don't think as many people will be eating their ETFs for a phone that is almost identical to the one they already have. People on older models or people approaching the end of their contracts might be tempted though.

During the event, one person asked, “Why didn't you go with LTE?” Verizon had two answers. One dealt with the first generation chips being too big for the current design, the second was, “People wanted it now.” The first answer is entirely understandable. The second part, not so much. Over the last two years, the market has exploded. Phones are becoming outdated faster than ever, and if people want anything in their phone its future-proofing. With the LTE network already up and running, people want to be able to connect to that. Not being able to is by far the biggest letdown from this announcement. Knowing how Apple likes to work – one model every year – means that there's no likely hope for an LTE Verizon iPhone before 2012, which is very disappointing.

Last week Verizon announced three new flagship Android devices, all touting LTE, large displays, and very fast processors; these are things that I predict will make people that have been eagerly awaiting the iPhone launch very hesitant. Something that could have been avoided by having either LTE connectivity or an entirely new device – the iPhone 5. Either way, I know I'm not alone when I say the Verizon iPhone announcement didn't quite live to its hype.

There were many people who were dead set on the a VZW iPhone regardless of what it had to offer, those will inevitably buy it. Smartphone newcomers will also be more swayed to the simpler platform. But people who want more out of their phone (faster speeds) will either hold out for the next model or give into the little green robot. Have you been waiting for this day? Are you disappointed or will you be standing in line on February 10th for your brand new Verizon iPhone 4?

Image via Engadget

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