Senior Ben Grindle-deGraaf shows off his new Verizon iPhone.  Grindle-deGraaf was unwilling to switch to AT&T to get an iPhone, so  he was happy when Apple joined with Verizon Wireless earlier this year.  Photo by Vince Camillo

After years of exclusivity with AT&T, Apple’s Iphone finally comes to Verizon

By Elise Murray, ’12

Students were excited to hear Apple’s Jan. 11 announcement that it would bring a second mobile network to its popular iPhone: Verizon Wireless. Customers were able to pre-order the phones on Feb. 3, and many students received their pre-orders before Apple’s official release of the phone on Feb. 10.
Though consumers might think the Verizon iPhone is the same as the AT&T version, this is not the case. While the features and cost of both companies’  iPhones seem to be identical, several subtle differences make the two phones unique. Having to deal with changes in companies, Apple made some changes to the Verizon iPhone to adapt to its network. For network coverage, AT&T uses the GSM standard; however, Apple had to switch over to the CDMA standard in order to use the Verizon network.
Also, while the AT&T iPhone has a faster downloading processer, Verizon claims to have the most reliable network. Many people with the original AT&T iPhone dislike the coverage area and have been looking for a change.
Junior Preston McKee, who has the AT&T iPhone, said that one of the worst features is the spotty service.
“My least favorite part of the AT&T iPhone is that the service can be very bad in some places,” McKee said. “And a phone is pretty much useless without [any] service.”
Not only does Verizon boast of a more reliable network, but it also advertises its ability to create Wi-Fi hotspots for its users through mobile devices on its network.
One of the most buzz-worthy differences between the two iPhones is not with the actual phone itself, but with the data plans offered with which they come. One major concern of AT&T customers is that the company does not offer an unlimited data plan package for new users. Verizon is fixing that problem.
According to Verizon Wireless, an unlimited data plan will be offered at $29.99 for the iPhone, as is the case with every other Verizon smartphone. It remains uncertain how long such a plan will be available.
Although the two phones have differences in networks, Wi-Fi connectivity options and data plans, what consumer opinion really comes down to is one’s personal preference. UA students have different views about which iPhone they think is better. As a loyal customer, McKee said he plans to stay with AT&T for now.
“I am not a big fan of Verizon getting the iPhone because [the iPhone] is pretty much the face of AT&T,” Mckee said. “AT&T will have the better iPhone because they have more experience with it.”
On the other hand, sophomore Zac Stowe said the iPhone on Verizon will be superior to the AT&T iPhone because of the better coverage and network that Verizon offers.
“Of course I want to get the Verizon iPhone.” Stowe said. “It is the exact same as what AT&T has to offer, except Verizon gives better coverage and reliability.”
The Verizon iPhone may look identical to the AT&T iPhone, but Verizon promises its customers that there will be major differences to improve the iPhone’s already famous design while still keeping its popular features known around the globe.
With Apple’s iPhone 5 rumored to be released this summer, users will have even more features available and the option of a redesigned iPhone. For the time being, they will have to choose between the two networks offered for the iPhone 4. •