The iPhone Comes to Verizon Wireless

I don’t think you’ll get much commentary better than this segment from The Daily Show on Comedy Central last night. Sure enough, the rumors are over and the sighs of a thousand Apple fans everywhere could be heard yesterday morning at Apple execs and Verizon Wireless execs stood on stage together yesterday in New York and announced that a CDMA version of the iPhone 4 would be available to Verizon Wireless’ customers as soon as next month.

The tech world has been abuzz with the news, and there have been a number of hands-on analyses that have largely come to the same conclusion: it’s an iPhone 4. We know how it works already, and no one should be surprised by it. The trick, though, is that because it’s a CDMA device, you don’t have the option of using voice and data at the same time – something that AT&T is proud of (since GSM allows for this, but as does LTE, we’ll see as the next generation of 4G devices appear how much of a differentiating factor that’ll become) and will likely market to its advantage.

To counter, the Verizon Wireless iPhone will support mobile hotspot functionality, and allows itself to be tethered easily to up to five other devices that will see it as a wireless network and connect to it accordingly – a feature AT&T doesn’t offer.

AT&T will then likely counter with GSM’s ability to support global roaming, which Verizon Wireless’ CDMA network won’t allow, Verizon will say “well you can actually place calls on our iPhone,” and the battle will rage on.

Still, more choice is a good thing in the marketplace, and now iOS fans, Apple lovers, and just plain iPhone lovers have the option to pick a carrier that works for them. So much of the debate right now circles around whether AT&T sucks (it does) and whether Verizon’s network will be able to support all the switchers (it will) and whether AT&T will suffer some great harm or crippling loss of business because of this (it won’t, AT&T will be fine) because of this, but that’s all missing the point: now you have a choice, which is more than we had even a week ago.

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