Another column about the Verizon iPhone

It seems like only yesterday that we were all hot, bothered, brothered, sistered and in a tizzy about AT&T being the sole, sucktacular wireless provider for the iPhone. (Hold on, the iPhone wireless telecommunications device from Apple, Inc. (NYSE:AAPL); there you go, SEO freaks.) But, in fact, it was seven days ago. Now, at last, Jobs & Co. have voted for Pedro and all our wildest dreams are coming true—Verizon will begin selling a Vulcan-proof, CDMA version of the iPhone on February 10. Let the "Can you hear me now? No? You must still be on AT&T" jokes begin.

Personally, I’ve had no real problems with AT&T in the 18 months I’ve been playing "Crush the Castle" on my 3GS. I just happen to live and work in an area of Dallas where coverage is good, rarely driving through the dead zones about which my coworkers seethe.

Of course, I still hate AT&T. Even though I get my wireless, DSL and home phone through them. Why? Because I hate Time Warner Cable even more and Verizon FIOS isn’t available in my neighborhood (but it is across the street—yay). So, I’ll being paying attention to what Verizon’s pricing plans are when they’re finally announced and David Pogue posts a song-and-dance video explaining where all the hidden fees are buried. My AT&T contract is up in June, so I’m almost ready to roll. The one caveat: I still have the unlimited data plan. Which, given my proximity to Wi-Fi 99% of the time is really kind of a waste. But one day, in the middle of Kansas, I might need to stream all five seasons of "Dexter" and, by Jove, I’ll have that bandwidth at hand. What I probably won’t have is a signal from AT&T.

Anyway, I’m not here to tell you about the Verizon iPhone. It’s an iPhone 4 with CDMA bits and a rejiggered antenna. Any questions? What I’m more mildly enthused about is the included 3G Mobile Hotspot app, which will allow up to five devices to share the phone’s data connection. Why am I mildly enthused? After all, I could tether my phone to, say, my MacBook Pro with AT&T if I were so inclined to spend another $20 a month. Which I am not. And while the prospect of allowing five devices share the bandwidth and take me back to US Robotics HST days sounds très chic, what really sorta floats my boat is the hope of a tethering price war.

Currently, AT&T charges $20/month for tethering. Which you would already know if you’d read the previous paragraph. That’s 20 bucks every month just for the opportunity to tether. It includes no extra data. Yep, tether your phone to your computer or data-intensive nether regions and you’re sucking bytes out of whatever data plan you currently have, as long as it’s at least the 2GB/month one. While I’m no technical wizard, I find it hard to imagine that AT&T has to do much work for those 20 bones. Which is where the price war can come in.

I suggest that Verizon announce a tethering plan that is free. Yes, free. Completely free. Not free plus a $2.95 freedom charge. One hundred percent free including shipping, handling and button-pushing charges. I mean, why not? If they’re going to charge a fee (and they’re gonna) for every giga-, mega-, or kilobyte you go over on your data plan, why not make the tethering free and encourage people to exceed their data plan allotments? People like me would be able to use our laptops in Wi-Fi-free zones without explaining to the kids where their McDonald’s money went, and the carriers could sit back and count even more money. Money they didn’t even have to bury in their bills.

Crazy talk, I know.

Later,

Fox

Comments closed
    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 9 years ago

    T-Mobile has a good network (I have only ever lost my signal, and then only for a few moments, in the subway tunnels in Chicago) and still offers unlimited data plans. They have a wide range of good phones and I can say without reservation that their customer service is top-notch and consists of native English speakers. I have unlimited data and text with their 300-minute Fave 5 program for $98/month……I was so turned off by how other services limited data that I decided to stay with them despite their lacking the iPhone. And the Samsung Galaxy Vibrant is thinner, faster, and lighter than the iPhone. For anyone looking at data plans, I’d recommend checking them out.

    Promise I don’t own any T-Mobile-related interests, I just really like the company and their service! 🙂

    • ludi
    • 9 years ago

    [i<]I suggest that Verizon announce a tethering plan that is free. Yes, free. Completely free. Not free plus a $2.95 freedom charge. One hundred percent free including shipping, handling and button-pushing charges. I mean, why not? If they're going to charge a fee (and they're gonna) for every giga-, mega-, or kilobyte you go over on your data plan, why not make the tethering free and encourage people to exceed their data plan allotments?[/i<] Totally wishful thinking. Verizon has access to plenty of other phones that support tethering and WiFi hotspot, and they charge extra for such features. The iPhone4 isn't going to change that.

    • potatochobit
    • 9 years ago

    you must not live in central dallas because fios is only available in the little towns around the city
    I’ve been thinking about moving to get fios, but I wouldnt put time warner on the same page as comcast and rush hour to me is the biggest devil I hate facing

    i have been waiting for a white iphone4 for so long……
    I thought they were going to fix all the issues and reissue the phone this winter but it looks like they just might skip it all together and release an iphone 5 i guess….
    I dislike ATT due to my old college days where the bastards would screw me with outrageous phone bills and long distance calling.
    I dont really have any opinion about verizon or tmobile but I might change service once my ATT 3G contract expires though I have neither had any data problems here in dallas or in austin.

    • Peffse
    • 9 years ago

    why is this blog all of a sudden marked as news in the RSS feed?

    • Corrado
    • 9 years ago

    The iPhone plans on Verizon are byte for byte and minute for minute in lock step with AT&Ts plans. AT&T offers 1 lower cost plan with less minutes, but all things equal, they cost exactly the same. What makes you think Verizon would make it cheaper? The wireless industry is in cahoots and theres plenty of price fixing going on, but no one in the gov wants to talk about it.

    • NeronetFi
    • 9 years ago

    To all the Verizon Gerbils out there that are waiting for the iphone4 release. Please note that Apple has stated that the iPhone5 will be released on AT&T and Verizon at the same time. No exact release date but speculated to be at least June 2011. So don’t jump to the iphone4, wait for the iPhone5 🙂

      • jthh
      • 9 years ago

      Can I please get a link showing me where Apple states iPhone 5 is going to be out this year for Verizon?

        • StashTheVampede
        • 9 years ago

        I don’t believe LTE will make its way into the “next” version if iPhone. Apple hinted that LTE support won’t come into 2012.

        Any June iPhone will probably akin to the 3GS release — better battery life, updated SDK. iPhone5, in name, won’t be a dramatic upgrade (ihmo).

          • NeronetFi
          • 9 years ago

          the iPhone 5 will be dual core, updated screen etc… I’m having a hard time finding the article I read on an apple blog regarding the confirmation of iPhone5 release on AT&T and Verizon but I did come across consumer reports stating the same thing

          [url<]http://blogs.consumerreports.org/electronics/2011/01/verizon-iphone-4-promising-but-shortlived.html[/url<]

            • Corrado
            • 9 years ago

            I’m doubting the screen will change. More RAM, better CPU, better GFX, better battery, HSPA+ support more than likely.

            • StashTheVampede
            • 9 years ago

            A bigger screen would require a higher pixel density to maintain their 300+ DPI — I call that highly doubtful. Dual core CPU? Faster GPU? Good possibilities since other makers are showing those protos off already.

            • Corrado
            • 9 years ago

            I’m doubting a bigger screen. The size of the device is perfect. Any bigger and you’ll start scaring away casual users.

            • NeronetFi
            • 9 years ago

            If anything they will change the glass used. Seems the iPhone4 has the highest recorded cracked/shattered screens.

            • XaiaX
            • 9 years ago

            I doubt that it’s the glass that’s a problem, there, but the case design. In the previous models, no direct edges of glass were exposed, they were blocked by the case edge. On the 4, though, that bevel is directly exposed.

            • Corrado
            • 9 years ago

            I’ve dropped my iPhone4 maybe 5 or 6 times, a few times onto hard tile or concrete floors. Not a problem. If the back shatters, its $15 and 2 screws to replace it.

            [url<]http://lh6.ggpht.com/_2PfPyRzX5JI/TSOheg5IsPI/AAAAAAAAAD4/gaZ1WrHYxtw/s800/P1041124.jpg[/url<]

      • 5150
      • 9 years ago

      I’m waiting for the iPhone 6

        • Chrispy_
        • 9 years ago

        you beat me to it.

    • dpaus
    • 9 years ago

    You know, up here in Canada, we’ve had three providers supplying the iPhone in competition with each other for almost 5 months now. And tethering, too – but only on Palm Pre phones. Oh, and only if you [i<]don't[/i<] have a grandfathered 'unlimited' data plan (and just [i<]try[/i<] to get a new one - good luck!) Of course, there are free apps for the Pre (and some Android phones) that give you tethering, but using one is a violation of your Terms of Service - although my printed-out copy of the Terms of Service that has my signature on it says nothing about tethering (apparently, it falls under the 'anything we don't get revenue from is banned' clause). So, go ahead and hope for competition all you want; the only 'competition' you'll see will be 'which carrier can suck the most $ out of each customer'.

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      exactly. the free market being liberating is a lie. I hate canadian isp’s/phone/cell/cable companies.

        • adisor19
        • 9 years ago

        This is not a free market. It’s an oligopoly.

        Adi

          • sweatshopking
          • 9 years ago

          same thing. free markets lead to oligopolies. Inevitably.

            • cygnus1
            • 9 years ago

            Correction, overly, heavily regulated free markets lead to oligopolies…

            • Da_Boss
            • 9 years ago

            Not like that’s a bad thing….

            In Canada, there are very few points where Carriers can declare competitive advantage. All five iPhone Canadian carriers offer similar pricing and features on their respective iPhone plans. You’d think that they’d all move in lockstep and squeeze the little guy. However, it’s not the case.

            We get 6GB of data, and free tethering for $30/month. Way better than the deal any of the other US Carriers can muster up. In addition, we don’t have near the technical issues with the iPhones dropping calls because, as stated before, the iPhones are spread across 5 carriers.

            So while there’s no price war happening, all the carriers have settled on pretty fair deals when it comes to smartphones. At least fair when you look at other countries.

      • emorgoch
      • 9 years ago

      I’m with Rogers on a Samsung Galaxy S Captivate, and I can tether with wifi with my data plan: 6GB/month for $30 CDN. Don’t know about other forms of tethering (USB, bluetooth), because the wifi is only one that I’ve actually used. But my blackberry (9000 Bold) for work on Rogers can bluetooth tether to my laptop.

      When I was researching the phone upgrade, I know Bell would also allow me to do wifi tethering on the Fascinate.

      Not that I don’t disagree about the deplorable state of “competition” in the Canadian mobile sector, just saying that there are tethering options out there.

      • End User
      • 9 years ago

      Rogers has both USB and Bluetooth tethering on the iPhone for no extra charge.

      I’m hoping that iOS 4.3 gives us the Wi-Fi hotspot feature.

    • 5150
    • 9 years ago

    As someone switching from Alltel to AT&T, I hope all the AT&T customers switch to Verizon so there’s more bandwidth for me.

    Oh yeah, and I rock the first post too.

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