Apple releases iPhone4 to Verizon Wireless

After much speculation the two brands announce new device optimized for CDMA network

Verizon Wireless had a huge press conference showcasing their new LTE 4G Network at the Consumer Electronics Show last week in Las Vegas but company executives decided to save its most prolific announcement until they were back on their home turf in New York.

“The word collaboration is a key to our vision of the future,” said Lowell McAdam, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Verizon. “Today we are bringing to market the fruit of our strategic partner with another giant of the high tech industry and that is Apple.”

The long awaited and much expected partnership to bring the iPhone4 to Verizon customers, has been something both companies have been discussing since 2008, and that “customers have been hungry for, for years,” said Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless.  Robust testing for the device began about one year ago.

The Verizon/Apple partnership is a multi-year, nonexclusive agreement, but neither Mead or Tim Cook, Apple COO, would comment whether the iPhone4 will be available on other carriers.

Existing Verizon Wireless customers will have the opportunity to preorder the iPhone4 on Feb 3 before it’s available to the general public on Feb 10. The device can also act as a mobile hotspot, enabling a connection to five WiFi enabled devices.

The new iPhone4 is optimized to work on Verizon’s older CDMA network and not Verizon’s new LTE 4G network, which is baffling to some, since Verizon touts their 4G network as 10 times faster than 3G networks. The device will be consistent with the same experience you get on other CDMA devices, says Mead. This means  you can’t surf the Internet while in a voice call and the Verizon iPhone will not have a slot for a SIM card.

The rush to introduce iPhone4 on the CDMA network as opposed to the Verizon 4G LTE network was prompted because the new 4G LTE chipset forced design compromises that Apple would not make, explained Cook. Also, he said that releasing a 3G version of the iPhone4  allowed Apple to immediately satisfy Verizon customers who had been inquiring about the phone for quite some time. “I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been asked when will the iPhone work on the Verizon network,” says Cook.

Still, Mead says that Verizon is committed to continue building the capacity of the 3G network for many years to come. The 16 GB iPhone4 will retail for $199.99 and the 32GB device will cost $299.99 with a two-year contract. Verizon would not comment on data plans or pricing strategies today, but did say that the company would make available a strong offer to attract customers to the network.

Not every iPhone user is convinced that this is the biggest announcement Apple will make this year. Corvida Raven, a social media strategists who concentrates on mobile technology, is considering making the switch from AT&T to Verizon, because she has been experiencing regular dropped calls. But she thinks something better might come out from Apple later in the year.

“Every year Apple upgrades the iPhone. Since Steve Jobs wasn’t here this wasn’t the big event, so I think we’ll have to wait and see what happens in May,” she says.  “I would be so upset if I made the switch and then in May or June there was a better iPhone [released].”

ACROSS THE WEB
  • http://mstolard.com Masudi

    I agree with you, if Steve Jobs is not present, it is not the big announcement for 2011. No disrespect to Chief Operating Officer Mr. Tim Cook. However, we do already know that the new MAC OS is being released around the summer of this year. My guess is Mr. Steve Jobs, will be present in his traditional all black attire for this unveiling.
    I do believe the iPhone 4 being released on the Verizon network is great thing for all parties involved: Apple, Verizon, AT&T and AT&T‘s customers.
    Three interesting things are going to happen when this officially takes place.
    1. All parties involved will have a significant increase in revenue because of this calibration.
    2. Sprint will continue to pull its hair out for originally turning down Apple’s idea of releasing
    the first iPhone on their network.
    3. If enough people jump from AT&T to Verizon it will alleviate some of the pressure of the
    AT&T network, and the customers that stay on AT&T will be able to FINALLY get
    consistently better service.

    -Masudi Stolard
    -contacme@mstolard.com
    -http://mstolard.com

  • http://www.lchbusiness.com Lindsey C. Holmes

    What I am interested to see is if Verizon users will actually like the iPhone. Especially the 4. I am a huge iPhone fan and have been using one since Day 1, but will admit that the software has a unique learning curve and can lack some of the more transparent business features of HTCs, for example. I think they will love the apps though. Great article Marcia!

  • luvinlunch

    So much for your comment – Now you know why Steve Jobs was not there. It was a big announcement. Just so happens, something bigger is happing in his personal life.