Verizon iPhone Rollout Fell Short of Hype: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-01-11

Verizon iPhone Rollout Fell Short of Hype: 10 Reasons Why

After years of waiting and non-stop rumors, Verizon has finally brought the iPhone to its network. The company announced the addition of Apple's smartphone to its wireless service on Jan. 11 in New York City. Apple's COO Tim Cook was also in attendance to commemorate the event. As expected, the smartphone will retail for $199 and $299 from Verizon, and it will be available to customers on Feb. 10.

But as the announcement continued on, it was clear that the hype surrounding the event was far more exciting than the event itself. When it was all said and done, Verizon offered little in the way of concrete details, and it revealed a device that is the same basic iPhone 4 that AT&T customers have, with a few minor additions and subtractions.

Simply put, the Verizon iPhone announcement was a bit of a disappointment, considering all the rumors and hype surrounding the event.

And here's why:

1. Where's the 4G?

It might have been an unattainable wish, but it would have been nice if Apple brought 4G connectivity to the Verizon iPhone. Not only would it have helped put the device on the same level as some of the competition, but it also would have made it even more appealing to corporate customers. The omission likely won't hurt sales, but 4G could have helped them.

2. Global phone support?

Part of the value of the iPhone 4 on AT&T's network is the ability for the user to bring it with them around the world, and still use it. At least for now, the Verizon iPhone won't have a GSM chip in it, so it won't be able to be used across Europe, since CDMA is supported in only a handful of countries around the world.

3. No data and voice at the same time

Those hoping to access data while on a phone call with the Verizon iPhone will be disappointed; the device doesn't support that. Of course, there is a good reason for that: Verizon's CDMA network doesn't allow for that functionality just yet. It is available, however, on AT&T's service. Is that a deal-breaker? Probably not. But enterprise customers who want to be able to quickly switch from a phone call to, say, e-mail won't like what they find.

4. It's the iPhone 4

When all is said and done, the Verizon iPhone is the same, standard iPhone 4 that AT&T customers have been enjoying all these months. It lacks some of the features mentioned above, but it adds the ability to share its 3G connection with up to five devices at the same time. Other than that, the device is basically the same product AT&T customers have been carrying around.

Verizon iPhone Event Lacked Substance, Sizzle

5. Few pricing details

Verizon revealed that it will be selling the iPhone for $199 and $299 for the 16GB and 32GB models, respectively, but the company has yet to reveal data pricing. It also hasn't given an indication of how much it will charge for mobile hot spot functionality. The lack of detailed pricing information is disappointing at this point, considering the device will be made available in less than a month.

6. Steve Jobs' absence says everything

Steve Jobs wasn't in attendance at the Verizon event on Jan. 11. Instead, the company sent COO Tim Cook. Although it was nice to see Apple make an appearance, Jobs' absence tells folks everything they need to know about the event: It wasn't the high-drama, groundbreaking time some thought it would be. The event showcased a new phone on Verizon's network. Nothing more, nothing less.

7. If it wasn't Apple, would anyone have cared?

An objective look at what Verizon and Apple announced during the press event in New York City reveals one important point: If the iPhone wasn't involved, no one would have cared. Several outstanding devices were announced at the Consumer Electronics Show by Verizon and its Android partners recently, and they barely caught headlines for more than a day. All those devices rivaled the iPhone in some way, but they received the attention they deserved-and that's certainly no less attention than what the Verizon iPhone deserves.

8. Where's the white iPhone?

Unfortunately, neither Apple nor Verizon announced a white iPhone for the carrier's customers. Speculation abounds that the white option will be made available in the spring on both AT&T's and Verizon's networks. The white iPhone 4 might not be groundbreaking, but it's a unique take on an already outstanding product. And some announcements related to that would have made the Verizon event far more exciting.

9. It lacked other announcements

Even when Jobs has one major announcement to make at his company's press events, he tosses in a few others to help push more headlines for his company. Evidently, Verizon missed that memo. The carrier talked a little bit about its network and then focused all of its efforts on the iPhone. Even Apple failed to talk on-stage about other initiatives it might be working on with Verizon. Product announcements need to have costars, and at least at the Verizon event, the iPhone's availability just didn't.

10. It failed to overshadow Android

As mentioned, Verizon's vendor partners showed off several outstanding and promising devices at the Consumer Electronics Show recently. Along the way, they proved that Apple isn't the only company that can combine outstanding design with highly useful software. Plus, some of those devices, like the HTC ThunderBolt, feature the ability to connect to Verizon's 4G network. The Verizon iPhone is certainly appealing, but does it overshadow Android devices? That's certainly debatable. 

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