Verizon Chief Operating Officer Lowell McAdam had recently confirmed speculations about the unlimited data plan on the upcoming CDMA iPhone. Now, the carrier has further confirmed another important detail with respect to the pricing plan – the cost of the mobile hotspot feature that will be available on Verizon iPhone. According to a recent statement from the company, wireless hotspot – that will let users set up their Verizon iPhone 4 as a router for accessing internet from up to five internet capable devices will be available at a price of $20 a month.
The announcement will draw inevitable comparisons with similar offering from AT&T. It is worth noting that while AT&T’s tethering feature too is available at $20 a month ( the mobile hotspot functionality too should be coming soon), the carrier allows connectivity with only one device at any given time. This makes the Verizon offering a much better alternative to AT&T’s. What do you think?
Verizon has officially confirmed rumors from last week that hinted at the possibility of an unlimited data plan for the upcoming iPhone 4. In a statement today, Verizon COO Lowell McAdam revealed that the carrier will charge a monthly $30 fee for unlimited data access on the iPhone. He conceded that one of the key challenges that the company faced was in attracting customers from AT&T and offering such a plan would make the transition for these subscribers easy.
Verizon’s statements have however not confirmed the official prices for the CDMA iPhone. It is interesting to note that JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz had predicted last week that the Verizon iPhone could be priced $20 to $30 higher than the GSM variant owing to the higher price of CDMA components. While we remain skeptical about this, we will be interested to hear more from the horse’s mouth. Stay tuned here for more.
In case you didn’t know yet, Apple will be launching the first CDMA variant of their iPhone 4 next month. Starting February 10, customers in the United States will be able to purchase a Verizon iPhone 4 that will run on the new CDMA chip. This has been an amazingly long wait given that a Verizon iPhone has been speculated ever since the iPhone itself was launched back in 2007.
Incidentally, the commercial emphasizes on this very aspect. The ad shows a number of ticking clocks with people fidgeting hands and tapping their feet. It ends with the voiceover noting -
“To our millions of customers who never stopped believing this day would come: Thank you.”
You can check out the commercial video below.
Liked it? Are you one of those looking to buy a Verizon iPhone? Tell us in the comments.
Looks like the CDMA iPhone, that was built by Apple in partnership with Verizon, is not limited to the American market alone. A new report on the Taiwanese publication – Digitimes – claims that Apple could soon be launching the CDMA variant of the iPhone 4 to Asian countries like China, Japan and South Korea.
Apple is reported to have partnered with Foxconn and Pegatron technologies for the manufacture of these CDMA handsets. While the Foxconn shipments are expected to be sold solely in the United States, those from Pegatron are expected to be shipped to China and other countries.
While the Digitimes article does not explicitly mention India as one of the countries where the CDMA variant could be headed to, there are chances given that a WSJ report late last year had indicated that Apple was in talks with Indian CDMA carriers – Reliance and Tata – to launch the CDMA iPhones in the market.
But given the lukewarm response to earlier iPhone models in the country, it is likely that Apple may defer their India CDMA launch to sometime later.
As expected, Verizon announced the new CDMA variant of the iPhone at their media event yesterday. The device is expected to go on pre-0rders in the United States starting February 3 and will launch on Apple and Verizon stores on February 10th.
So what is changing with the new launch? Here is a roundup
New iOS Update :
Apple is expected to roll out iOS 4.2.5 shortly. The Verizon iPhone will run on this new iOS platform that will also bring some new features.
Mobile Hotspot :
The Verizon iPhone will let users set their device as a wireless internet router that can be connected from up to five devices. This feature will require a software update that the new iOS 4.2.5 is supposed to provide. It is not clear if the feature will also simultaneously make its way to the GSM variant of the iPhone.
Modified Antenna :
The iPhone 4 antenna design that had invited severe criticism now stands slightly modified with the new launch. The antenna break points are now no longer on the top and are instead on the sides – something that will reduce the death grip issue. However, Apple claims this new design change is to accommodate the CDMA communication frequency that is different from GSM’s.
Simultaneous Voice & Data :
The EVDO Rev-A CDMA network that Verizon operates on does not support simultaneous usage of voice and data. This means Verizon iPhone users cannot talk and surf the web in the same way as AT&T users do. Verizon however maintains that this will be a pretty small compromise in comparison to the other things on offer with Verizon
No SIM Card Slot :
There is no SIM card slot – as it is with a CDMA phone. What this also means is that international travelers will find it difficult to use their iPhones when they travel abroad since CDMA network penetration is not high in many parts of the world.
The Verizon iPhone is not exclusive which means Apple could soon be offering CDMA variants of its iPhone across other carriers around the world. The Verizon iPhone shall be priced at $199 and $299 for the 16GB and 32GB variants respectively.
All eyes are now set on the Verizon media event that is scheduled for later today when the carrier is expected to make the highly anticipated announcement regarding the launch of a CDMA iPhone on their network. There are already speculations that Verizon could be announcing unlimited data plans for iPhone users in a bid to compete against AT&T.
However, according to JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz, Verizon could also be facing some challenges. He says that the carrier could be pricing their iPhone at a price that is $20 to $30 higher than the price of an iPhone on AT&T. This, he says, is because the redesigned iPhone will require components like CDMA radio that are pricier than the UMTS components.
But considering the cut-throat competition in the segment, we do not expect Verizon to transfer the higher costs to consumers. Instead, Verizon is likely to reduce their own margins in the short term to consolidate their iPhone subscriber base.
By now, it is getting very clear that Verizon Wireless shall be making the official announcement about its iPhone plans this week – on Tuesday to be precise. The device is expected to launch by February 3rd according to several sources. Now, the Wall Street Journal offers some more interesting tidbits about this new release. In a recently published report, the newspaper has claimed that Verizon Wireless could be mulling over an unlimited data plan option – similar to the one offered by AT&T initially and that was retracted last year – to its iPhone users.
This could be a double-edged sword for Verizon since such an offering could attract a lot of users to sign up for their unlimited offering which is an attractive alternative to AT&T’s capped pricing structure. However, it is also worth noting that such an offering was primarily responsible for clogging the AT&T infrastructure – a problem that has afflicted Ma Bell’s network to this day.
It will be interesting to see how Verizon can cope up in a similar scenario.
A number of sources have confirmed to major Apple enthusiast websites that a Verizon iPhone announcement could be coming in less than a week from now. According to these sources, Verizon has issued invitations to major media outlets for an event that is scheduled for January 11th. Not just this, the sources also point out that Apple has been blocking vacation requests from its retail store staff for the duration between February 3 and February 6.
What this could probably mean is that a Verizon iPhone could be announced next week on January 11 and could starting being made available over Verizon Stores, Apple Stores and other retail channels starting February 3rd. Despite rumors about Verizon iPhone making its rounds on and off over the past couple of years, this is the first time we hear credible news as far as launch dates are concerned. And we hope that it’s true this time around.
An iPhone accessory manufacturing company, Global Direct, has published a video that compares an iPhone 4 casing with what they claim is a next generation CDMA iPhone that makes a number of interesting revelations. The video has since then been pulled which is possibly an indication that what is shown on the video is legitimate. However, more interestingly, although the video speaks about this device as a CDMA iPhone, chances are that this is what iPhone 5 could look like.
There are a couple of main take-aways from the pictures revealed. Firstly, the device comes with a micro-SIM card slot that is evident of this being a next generation GSM device and not a CDMA iPhone. Secondly, the design reveals a modified antenna frame that Apple could be working on to prevent an AntennaGate-like issue with the new device.
Check out the image below
A number of industry observers have speculated that Verizon could be announcing their new iPhone on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show starting this week. That seems more likely with claims that popular third party accessory manufacturers have already been prepping up for the launch of accessories aimed at the new Verizon iPhone.
CaseMate – the developer of the popular Tough and Pop cases are learned to have recently launched a new website that shows up this homepage
Not only this, Offwire – an online retailer too had, until recently, posted references to accessories pertaining specifically to a Verizon iPhone. With word about these references getting out, the two websites seem to have purged these details completely.
An interesting revelation though is CaseMate’s post that reads, “The Verizon iPhone 4 is on its way“. This is indicative of sufficient lead time between the announcement and launch of this new CDMA iPhone. With rumors suggesting that the new iPhone could be released “by Valentine’s Day“, we hope an announcement is made shortly – during CES.