Verizon iPhone? Not interested. At least not right now.

Today, Verizon officially announced that a CDMA version of the iPhone 4 will be available on their network starting on February 10th, 2011, or even as early as February 3rd for qualified Verizon Wireless customers.

I will not be one of the fools camping out for one.  Why?  Here are some reasons why I’m going to pass on the iPhone.

  1. Same old 3G Network
    • Verizon Wireless just recently launched their 4G LTE network in select markets, one of them being Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs.  The iPhone only runs on the current 3G network.  Why waste an upgrade to spend two more years on 3G when 4G LTE phones, which are (claimed to be) 10x’s faster than 3G are just around the corner?
  2. Nothing New.
    • There is little to no difference between this iPhone and the current iPhone 4 on AT&T for the exception of two things: 1. The Antenna design has a few changes due to the difference in networks, and 2. The software allows the Verizon iPhone to be a mobile hotspot for up to 5 devices.  Knowing Verizon, though, the hotspot feature will require you to pay more per month.  Verizon also declined to comment on whether there will be a new model each year, as Apple has done with AT&T every June. (iPhone, 3G, 3GS, 4.)
  3. CDMA = No Simultaneous Data and Voice
    • When I was reading about this feature before, I always said to myself, “Who the hell needs data and voice at the same time?  That’s a stupid reason.”  Recently, however, I found myself really wanting needing this feature.  While I’m out delivering papers, I’m often on Skype with my friends.  On a few occasions, I needed to bring up my list of houses to double check a few customers.  In order to do that, I need to hang up the Skype call so I can use data, and then once downloaded, go back to Skype.  Or, when I’m tethering my iPad to my Droid to use Skype via Verizon 3G, I’m tossed off immediately if a phone call comes in, and I need to reset the settings on both once the call is complete.
  4. No Early Upgrade Promotion
    • Come on, Verizon.  We know you have nothing to lose from this deal but the fact that there’s no Early Upgrade really leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  You know that everyone has wanted a Verizon iPhone ever since it was launched on AT&T back in June, 2007, but instead you choose to dick over your customers by making them pay full pop (because you know they will) if their upgrade isn’t ready at launch date.  One of these very wanting customers is my brother, whose upgrade is not eligible until September, and he’s not willing to wait that long.  The next person available to upgrade is yours truly, with an upgrade date in March.  This means that I’ll have to surrender my upgrade date to my brother in order for him to get one, but I really wanted to upgrade my phone to a new 4G LTE device ASAP.  We get that AT&T did the Early Upgrade Promo for the iPhone 4 in a move to keep customers from eventually switching to Verizon, but it also raised expectations that Verizon should offer a similar deal to their customers.
  5. Did I mention that I REALLY like Android?
    • Anyone who knows me should know that I absolutely love my Motorola Droid.  For one, the thing is a beast.  It has taken a serious beating and still works perfectly fine, however the battery is sub-par, it runs very slow compared to the Android devices out now, and has it’s share of quirks that make me itch to get an upgraded device.
    • There’s one big feature that I keep saying that makes or breaks the deal for me: Turn-by-turn Navigation.  I’m spoiled by Google Navigation Beta, which comes for free on every Android device.  My GPS has been broken for a very long time now, and having a GPS ready on my phone has been a very convenient feature.  I use it almost all of the time in conjuncture with my Droid Car Dock.  The iPhone offers a very crappy GPS, if you want to call it that, that just uses triangulation to determine your location, so it’s not always sure what road you’re really on.  Plus, it’s not turn-by-turn, it just gives you a list of turns similar to if you were looking up on MapQuest.
    • Other than the GPS Navigation, Android seems like a much better platform for a Phone, in my personal opinion.  The notification bar is really a great feature, synchronization with a Google Account to store Contacts and Calendar information is fantastic (and free), and Android can be modded, rooted, etc.  I really look forward to new Android devices this year that have a front-facing camera, along with better specs than my Motorola Droid.

If the iPhone were to be available on the 4G LTE Network, this would change things slightly, but with new Android devices coming very soon, such as the HTC Thunderbolt and the Motorola Bionic, I probably would get one of those instead.  Hopefully the next iPhone release (who knows when that will be on Verizon) will work on 4G LTE networks, but I doubt that turn-by-turn navigation will be added.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

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