Monday, January 10, 2011

Verizon's iPhone Is Going To Suck!!

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Three and a half years of pent up anticipation will come to an end when Verizon Wireless and Apple announce that Verizon will become the second carrier in the United States to carry the iPhone.  Unlike in most countries where the iPhone is sold that a carrier's exclusivity ends and then every other carrier sell iPhones.  It will be the first time that the iPhone hardware is engineered from the ground up for just one carrier.  Unlike the GSM & UMTS technologies found in every iPhone sold to date, Verizon's CDMA network has limitations that will make the experience of using an iPhone running Verizon's network unlike the iPhone experience that people are used to.

Just about every criticism of AT&T's iPhone service comes from just two American cities - San Francisco and New York.  Both cities restrict the number, placement, and height of cell phone towers.  These restrictions have caused the dropped calls and slow data rates that iPhone users in these cities to complain about the service that AT&T provides.  However all cell phone carriers operate under these restrictions including Verizon.  If the subscribers who get iPhones from Verizon are defectors from AT&T there will be will be faster data rates and fewer dropped calls for iPhone users on both Verizon and AT&T.  If however Verizon attracts new subscribers or their current subscribers upgrade to iPhones, Verizon's network will bog down in San Francisco and New York.

Despite the complaints in a few areas of slow data speed, AT&T can actually provide faster data connections due to their faster 3G HSPA technology, which can provide data speeds up to 7.2 Mbps, which is far greater than the EV-DO technology used by Verizon which tops just short of 1.0 Mbps.  This ability for AT&T has been well promoted through their own commercials.  

Another limitation of CDMA is that when data applications are unable to run while a call is connected.  Another advantage of the iPhone that was advertised by both Apple and AT&T in the past.  Apple has added more and more multitasking abilities into the iPhone over the past couple of years only to saddle themselves with a limitation like that for the Verizon iPhone, probably one of the reasons it took this long.

Users of smartphones know way too well the daily need to feed their phones power to charge their batteries.  iPhones are no different, a voracious appetite for electricity which if it goes unfulfilled can leave an iPhone sitting with a dead battery.  Using CDMA technology that appetite for power gets a lot larger.  CDMA phones have always performed poorly when compared with GSM counterparts.  Combining the already short battery life inherent to CDMA, with the battery gobbling tendencies of the iPhone means a good time for those selling iPhone charging products.   

There has been a lot of excitement about the possibility that someday there would be an iPhone coming to Verizon, because of the limitations of CDMA hardware there are going to be a lot of disappointment when Verizon's iPhones don't provide the same experience that everybody else's iPhones have.

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