After years of waiting, Apple’s iPhone might finally show up on Verizon Wireless.
But before that happens, it might be a good time to talk about some of the features that should be available on a Verizon iPhone. Admittedly, the device will likely have the same smartphone features already available to AT&T customers. But on the slight chance that it will be different and offer improvements over its predecessor, let’s take a look at what should be in an ideal Verizon iPhone in the wish list below.
1. A better antenna
One of the major issues with AT&T’s iPhone 4 is that it loses signal quality when it’s held with a “death grip.” For its part, Apple has acknowledged the issue and said that several other competing devices suffer from the problem. But it would be nice if Apple found a permanent solution in the Verizon iPhone and made that a key selling point in that device.
2. 4G connectivity
Verizon is investing heavily in 4G connectivity. By the end of 2010, its 4G network, which delivers faster service than 3G, was available in more than 38 cities around the United States. If Apple will in fact bring its iPhone to Verizon’s network on Jan. 11, it would only make sense for the company to offer 4G connectivity in the device, as well. After all, the competing smartphone models are already linking up to Verizon’s 4G network and the carrier is focusing on its 4G LTE technology going forward.
3. Mobile hotspot functionality
One of the best features of some of Verizon’s top devices, such as the Motorola Droid X, is their ability to share their 3G connection with up to five products at the same time. Not only does it add a level of usability to a device supporting the technology, but it also makes it an even more ideal platform for enterprise customers. Considering more and more Verizon-based devices offer that functionality, Apple should follow suit with its iPhone.
4. A white version
The white iPhone 4 has been AWOL since it was first announced last year. Toward the end of 2010, Apple said that the device should be made available in the spring. Wouldn’t it be a nice surprise if Apple said that the white iPhone 4 would be made available on both Verizon’s and AT&T’s network as soon as the Verizon iPhone launches? It would certainly appeal to those customers that have been waiting far too long for the device.
5. An included Bumper case
If Apple can’t find a way to improve the Verizon iPhone’s antenna, the company should offer a free Bumper case with the device. As noted, Apple acknowledged last year that the iPhone 4 has an antenna issue. It offered customers a free case to correct the problem. If the Verizon iPhone comes with the same issue, Apple should extend an olive branch and include its Bumper case. It’s not the best solution, but it’s one that customers will likely accept for now.
6. Better plans
Both AT&T and Verizon have somewhat unappealing plans. A Verizon family talk plan, for example, starts at $69.99 for two lines and 700 minutes. Considering customers will need to pay for data with the Verizon iPhone, they will likely pay as much as $30 more per month on top of that fee. That’s a shame. Verizon should consider offering special (even promotional) iPhone data plans that not only best AT&T’s offering, but make it a bit more affordable for those that aren’t so keen on paying nearly $100 per month just for a smartphone.
7. Competitive pricing
Speculation abounds that Apple won’t be able to sell the Verizon iPhone for the same $199 and $299 price tag it sells the AT&T version due to the supposed higher cost of CDMA-related components. Whether that will be the case is decidedly up for debate, since Verizon would likely not want AT&T to have a price advantage. But if there is some concern at Verizon headquarters about what the price on the iPhone should be, let’s just make it easy for them: the Verizon iPhone should sell for the same price as the AT&T version. It’s an absolute necessity.
8. A well-constructed preordering system
One of the biggest mistakes AT&T made last year when the iPhone 4 was up for preorder was not ensuring that the system would be able to handle the immense demand for that device. It was a black eye for both AT&T and Apple. For its part, Verizon should do everything it can to ensure that its preordering system will work the way it should and accommodate all the customers that want the smartphone.
9. Additional coverage announcements
In addition to announcing the iPhone on Jan. 11, it would be nice if Verizon also announced better service coverage. In most places around the United States, Verizon has better service than AT&T. But like any other carrier, it has some holes here and there. If Verizon wants to be successful, it needs to reassure customers that it will provide them with superior service. That can only be achieved by talking about what it has been doing to improve its network availability in preparation for the iPhone.
10. The iPhone 4 design
This might sound a little obvious given Apple’s recent design decisions in the tech space, but it’s worth noting that the Verizon iPhone should have the same, basic iPhone 4 design. Not only is the iPhone 4 the best-looking version of the device yet, but it also comes with the ability to engage in FaceTime video chatting, has the outstanding Retina Display and much more. The last thing customers want to see from Verizon is the outdated iPhone 3GS design.