All good things must come to an end. AT&T killed unlimited iPhone data almost a year ago, and now Verizon Wireless — which launched the CDMA iPhone 4 with unlimited data as a promotional stunt —is preparing to do the same.
When it came time to test the CDMA iPhone 4 on Verizon’s networks, Apple had learned a few things about security from the infamous Gizmodo early iPhone 4 leak. They weren’t about to make the same mistakes twice.
What will the next iPhone be called? Rumors have recently pegged it as being christened the iPhone 4S when it debuts in September, but would Apple really signify that the next iPhone is really just a slight revision over the current model… right in the brand name?
I think they will. Here’s why.
Apple may be prototyping an iPhone 5 with a tapered design, a larger 3.7-inch screen and a gesture-sensitive Home Button.
This is according to the ex-Engadget crew at the new “This my Next” website, who whipped up the mockup above to illustrate the various rumors they’re hearing.
- New design: Apple is testing several prototypes (we all know this) and one of the leading candidates for the iPhone 5 is thinner than the current iPhone 4 and looks “more like the iPod touch.” It has a teardrop shape – thinner at the bottom than the top, like the new MacBook Air.
- Gesture-sensitive Home Button: The Home Button will be bigger and will understand a gestures. “Our sources say that gestures are definitely coming in a future version of iOS,” says
- Larger screen: the screen will go up to 3.7-inches, not 4-inches as rumored. It will keep the current resolution, dropping pixel density goes from 326 to 312, but will still be a Retina Display (it’s still above 300ppi).
- No Bezel: Screen will be edge-to-edge, occupying the entire front of the iPhone. That means no bezel (or almost no bezel).
- Hidden earpiece & mouthpiece: The earpiece and sensors are behind the screen itself.
- Inductive charging: It may or may not have wireless inductive charging. Crystal ball is cloudy.
- NFC: Likewise it may or may not have NFC.
- Global radio chips: It’ll be based on Qualcomm’s dual GSM/CDMA Gobi chipset, which means it’ll work on a ton of GSM and CDMA networks worldwide, most importantly in China.
Joshua Topolsky warns, however, that none of this is set in stone: “Keep in mind that this info isn’t fact — we’re getting lots of threads from lots of places and trying to make sense of the noise. The versions of devices our sources are seeing could be design prototypes and not production-ready phones. Still, there are strong indications that Apple will surprise a public that’s expecting a bump more along the lines of the 3G to 3GS — and this is some insight into where those designs might be headed.”
Despite having a brand new antenna, the Verizon iPhone 4 also has antenna issues when held in a “Death Hug,” iLounge has discovered.
The “Death Hug” is when the phone is cupped by both hands and held in landscape orientation — not exactly normal. Still, iLounge found it slows both cellular and WiFi reception when loading web pages. But as Steve Jobs pointed out in response to the original Antennagate controversy, holding any smartphone in your hands degrades the signal to some extent.
This doesn’t look like Antennagate redux. We can’t see the VZW Death Hug turning into another PR headache for Apple.
Our friends at 9to5Mac have torn down the Verizon iPhone and found a tasty surprise: it’s based on a GSM world phone-compatible chip!
The VZW iPhone is based on the Qualcomm MDM6600 chip, which is dual-mode GSM and CDMA compatible. That means the iPhone 5 will also surely be dual-mode, allowing Apple to ship one handset for both Verizon and AT&T, aw well as every other carrier outside the U.S.
UPDATE: Apple has pulled the Verizon pricing pages. But they were up long enough to get the details.
The prices for the Verizon iPhone are now here. Here’s what we’re looking at.
Launching in the traditional 16GB (MC676LL/A ) and 32GB (MC678LL/A) varieties, the Verizon iPhone 4 will only come in black, which ends speculation for right now that the CDMA iPhone’s debut would afford Apple an opportunity to launch the long-delayed white iPhone 4.
Available talk plans are 450 minutes of talk time per month for $39.99, 900 minutes per month with unlimited calls to five people for $59.99 per month, and unlimited talk time for $69.99 per month.
As previously discussed, data comes all-you-can-eat for $29.99, with an additional 2GB for tethering available for $49.99 per month.
As for text messages, you can either pay-per-use at the rip-off rate of $0.20 per text and $0.25 per video or picture. Plan-wise, you can either opt for 250 messages for $5 per month, 500 messages for $10 per month, or unlimited for $20 per month.
As with the AT&T models, a 16GB iPhone will cost you $199 subsidized, while the 32GB model will cost $299.
It’s not bad. Don’t miss the YouTube comments. Here’s a typical sample:
I can’t wait!!!!!! Finally!!!! iPhone on Verizon!!!!!
I get to dump my crapass Android piece of poop for a real smartphone!
Verizon Wireless appears to be preparing for the sudden onslaught of new customers coming to their network for the Verizon iPhone by making it harder and more expensive to upgrade their phones at the end of two years.
Yup. Sadly, Verizon has quietly discontinued their long-running New Every Two promotion, which allowed any customers who successfully completed a two-year contract to either get a free new low-end phone or rack up credit ranging between $30 and $100 to apply to the downpayment of their next phone.
It’s been commonly rumored that Verizon was the first carrier Apple approach with the iPhone, only to be rebuffed because of Cupertino’s insistence on retaining control over their phone’s branding and bundled software. Heck, we referenced it the other day.
It looks like that rumor’s not actually true, though. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg has admitted in an interview with BusinessWeek that his company was “never in the running” as US carrier partner for the original iPhone’s launch.
A lot of the jailbreak dev scene is about waiting. Waiting for Apple to break a previous exploit with a new patch. Waiting to deploy a new exploit that Apple hasn’t even caught wind of yet.
No one’s better at this sly waiting game than the iPhone Dev Team, who have just let everyone know that yes, they’re working on a jailbreaking tool for iOS 4.2.5 (as seen on the Verizon iPhone) and iOS 4.3.
But don’t expect anything while iOS 4.3 is in beta: tipping the community’s hand about what exploits they’ve found before Apple’s finalized the update would be just stupid.
Anyway, according to Dev Team member MuscleNerd‘s Twitter account, It’s silly to release anything during Apple betas… [because] most people can’t take advantage.”
In short, yes, a jailbreak is coming, even for Verizon iPhones… but only start holding your breath once the Verizon iPhone is officially released.
If you remember, reports had it at the time that Verizon was the carrier Apple originally came to with the iPhone, only to be snubbed by Big Red because of Apple’s insistence on maintaining full control over the phone’s hardware and software: no bundled apps, no carrier branding. Laughing, Apple went to AT&T and history was made.
Speaking to BusinessWeek, Verizon president and CEO Lowell McAdam makes it clear that Verizon regretted that decision pretty much the second after Apple left their offices: he says they’ve spent the last four years trying to get the iPhone back.
Surely by now you’ve heard, the iPhone 4 is coming to Verizon. Now, I’m not planning on leaving AT&T, but I was still very happy to hear that bit of news. Why? Because sending millions of iPhone users to Verizon may be the only way to get the AT&T network working better.
AT&T has had over 3 years to fix their network problems, but for whatever reason, they’re still having major issues. If fact in seems things have gotten so bad, anytime a lot of iPhone users gather in one place, the network starts to buckle (were you able to use 3G at CES for anything this year?).
But now, my hope is renewed. Instead of one over-burdened network
dropping carrying all the iPhone data, we have two. The iPhone will now have access to twice the towers, twice the switches, twice the trucks—twice the everything that makes the data flow. Users will now have a choice to test the Verizon waters, and I hope they go in masses.
Here’s what I’m thinking: if enough users (millions?) head to Verizon, maybe the reduction in traffic will ease the strain on AT&T’s network. Maybe then, those of us who stay behind will be able to use our iPhones the way Steve Jobs probably always imagined—with nary a dropped call or lost byte. Hey, it could happen.
So tell your friends. Tell them all the great things you’ve ever heard about Verizon. Make a few things up if you have to. And make a lot of eye contact, it’ll make you more believable. It’ll all be worth it. If enough people defect to Verizon, AT&T could become the always-ready always-reliable network we’ve been waiting for.
During yesterday’s Verizon iPhone event, one journalist asked Apple COO Tim Cook whether or not Verizon had an “exclusive” on the CDMA iPhone.
Although the Verizon iPhone seems like a huge deal over in the States, in the grand scheme of things, one carrier’s not particularly important… but there are an additional hundreds of millions of CDMA-subscribers in other countries like China and India who Apple would also like to sell an iPhone.
Needless to say, then, Tim Cook said that Verizon’s deal was a multi-year contract, but not exclusive, meaning that the so-called Verizon iPhone is really the CDMA iPhone, and will creep out to other CDMA networks in the coming months.
Sure enough, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty told investors on Thursday that Apple was likely to strike deals for the CDMA iPhone with China Telecom and Reliance in India in the next few months. Those are the two fastest growing mobile markets on Earth: CDMA subscribers in India account for 20% of the country’s 670 million subscribers as it is.
The CDMA iPhone may be a big deal for Verizon subscribers, and people who want more competition and choice in the American mobile landscape, but let’s not forget the international importance here, which is arguably much, much bigger.
Although there’s still many things we don’t know about about the Verizon iPhone — namely, in the details of their pricing and the generosity of their data plans — one immediate advantage Verizon has over AT&T is that you can tether up to five different devices to the handset’s 3G connection over WiFi, when AT&T only offers one.
For road warriors, that’s a big perk to the Verizon iPhone compared to the AT&T one: you can drive an entire mobile office with just one Verizon device. Another benefit is that AT&T tethering service only works via Bluetooth or USB.
So will AT&T cave and match Verizon’s offer? AppleInsider asked the question, and was told by an AT&T representative that they would not “speculate” on their own plans.
The Verizon iPhone might not be official yet, but AT&T’s already firing an opening salvo in the war of words. Things are about to get nasty folks.
Speaking to Business Insider, AT&T PR head Larry Solomon couldn’t resist commenting upon the prospect of a Verizon iPhone by saying that he wasn’t “sure iPhone users are ready for life in the slow lane,” while noting that AT&T’s GSM-based network is faster than Verizon’s for 3G speeds.
That’s actually not debatable, but for most users, the speed advantages of AT&T’s 3G network are negligible… and my guess is that many customers would be more than happy to give up a few kb/s downstream if they could trade them for Verizon’s coverage and reliability. What do you guys think?
The Verizon iPhone is a truly exciting prospect for us geeks, for most people, it’s not going to be a big deal. It won’t be an all new phone, or substantially different hardware-wise from the current iPhone 4… it’ll just be on a different network, and that the difference between GSM and CDMA technology is profound just won’t matter to most people.
That puts Verizon in a little bit of a pickle: short of blaring on about how much superior their network is to AT&T’s (and they will do just that), what are they going to do to to easily differentiate the Verizon iPhone from the AT&T iPhone and make it seem like a different product entirely?
According to The Wall Street Journal, they’ll offer unlimited data.
Yesterday, a firm named GlobalDirectParts put together an extensive five minute video showcasing what they say are the components of Apple’s next-generation iPhone.
While the video could have been an elaborate fake, GlobalDirectParts’ video gave a clear look at the charging port flex cable and a new design for the external antenna design. Unfortunately, the video was quickly pulled by YouTube because of a copyright claim by Apple, gifting the video with at least some tint of posthumous veracity.
A site called Smartphone Medic is now confirming the GlobalDirectParts video with several images of a new iPhone antenna, which has four black bands separating the antennas, compared to the current iPhone 4’s three. Since antenna attenuation (aka “death grip”) happens when you bridge these antennas with your hand, four separations would presumably mitigate the issue compared to three.
Last week, VoIP service Skype crumbled under the strain of holiday calling. In the aftermath, Skype published some support documents to help users out, but then quickly pulled them after it was discovered that not only were they looking to roll out FaceTime-style video chat to the iPhone, but also release a native iPad app… and rounding everything out? A juicy hint about the Verizon iPhone.
Piper Jaffrey analyst Gene Munster has a spotty history of prediction, but we think his latest pronouncement is probably right: if Verizon’s the next network that gets the iPhone, it will only be at AT&T’s expense.
We report with reservations, because this rumor — while titillating — is clearly absurd. That said, if you don’t hear it from us, you’ll hear it from someone more breathless: Mac Daily News is claiming that the Verizon iPhone is coming to a Verizon outlet near you as soon as December 26th.
The storied Verizon iPhone remains as questionably and rumorous as a cryptozoological specimen: no matter how many times it is reported as a soon-to-be-imminent reality, it never quite seems to come about, no matter how assertive the Wall Street Journal or New York Times seem to be about the matter.
Still, even if it hasn’t come about yet, Apple’s clearly interested in the possibility of bringing the iPhone to Verizon when their exclusivity deal with AT&T ends, as evidenced by this most recent job posting looking to hire a new staff member who is experienced with Verizon’s CDMA network.
Verizon’s Twitter account might have tipped the forthcoming arrival of the iPhone to America’s biggest CDMA network, but Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg is still playing coy about the possibility of a Verizon iPhone.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Seidenberg says that a Verizon iPhone will only arrive “when Apple thinks it’s time.”
Yesterday was a big day for Verizon iPhone rumors. Hot on the heels of a rumor that Apple was working to create a reprogrammable SIM Module that might open the door to dual GSM/CDMA compatibility comes a perhaps contradictory report from the always dicey Digitimes that suggests that Cupertino has already awarded the build contracts for a CDMA iPhone to two of the biggest Asian electronics makers.