We welcome Verizon to the iPhone market: it’s been a long time coming, and it will challenge AT&T to provide better service and options, while at the same time growing the iPhone market for iOS developers. One thing to point out is that a Verizon experience is not going to be like an AT&T experience on the iPhone … both for the good and for the bad.

The good: Presumably, Verizon’s network will stand up better to use than AT&T’s has. Yes, AT&T was better recently at CES, but again, texts were delayed, phone calls dropped and more. If you judge from the customer experience point of view, Verizon takes their network more seriously than AT&T. Hopefully competition here will help AT&T see the light.

The bad: Because Apple had to change the antenna a bit for CDMA radio signal characteristics, the ringer switch is moved just a tad. This means that any accessory that relies on precise placement of cut outs, or access will likely at least partially cover this switch.

The good: Presumably, Verizon will provide an unlimited data plan as some of us still have grandfathered on AT&T. This is one of the originally stated benefits of the iPhone, and one that AT&T has taken away … at any price.

The good: Verizon has already said that you can use your Verizon iPhone as basically a mifi supporting 5 wifi users through it’s HotSpot app — great job Verizon! It’s unknown whether there’s extra costs on this.

The bad: Verizon’s EVDO Rev-A CDMA implementation does NOT allow for simultaneous data and voice calls. This is one of the key benefits and has been part of the marketing of the iPhone. It’s a big step backwards for anyone on AT&T’s iPhone, but one that Verizon users are already used to with their current phones. (For the record, Rev-B CDMA does support voice/data simultaneously, but Verizon has chosen to skip it and go right to LTE which has not yet reached critical mass in the market.)

The bad: Because of the Rev-A limitation, we’re expecting that wifi users hanging off the Verizon iPhone will prevent that iPhone from receiving calls. If not, then they will likely lose net connectivity or have some other limitation.

So yes — there’s good news — but there’s some “buyer beware” items in here as well.

— Neil Ticktin
MacTech Magazine, MacNews