Apple releases iPhone4 to Verizon Wireless - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

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].”

Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.