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Verizon, 4G and iPhones

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the keep-on-waiting-uriah dept.

Communications 303

cgriffin21 writes "Verizon plans to launch its 4G LTE network in 38 major U.S. metropolitan areas by year's end, in an ambitious rollout that will also drape high-speed mobile broadband coverage over 60 airports." Not coincidentally, everyone and their brother is talking about iPhone on Verizon in 2011, and what that means to Android.

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It means nothing to Android. (1, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825152)

If I wanted an iPhone, I would have gotten one. But since I wanted to write my own apps, Android was a much more attractive platform.

Nothing? (4, Insightful)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825354)

"If I wanted an iPhone, I would have gotten one."

I, I, I.

How something impacts Android is completely dependent on how it would affect you? There may be a few people out there who decided to go with Android because they didn't want to switch to AT&T.

Re:Nothing? (1, Insightful)

Enry (630) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825440)

Apple had their chance to completely dominate the phone market and they've blown it with their exclusivity to AT&T/GSM. The gap gave Android a chance to get started with Verizon (and Sprint and T-Mobile), and now that the iPhone is possibly coming, existing Verizon customers won't care:

1) We're already locked in 1-2 year contracts so we're not going to pay $500 for a new phone
2) Verizon and Apple will likely not give many price breaks
3) AT&T users may jump ship, but that's only to Verizon's benefit
4) Android has a full set of applications and is a much more open format.

Re:Nothing? (2, Interesting)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825842)

If only those 2 year contracts came to an end. I have to wait an entire month . . . Oh that's right, I am thinking to change when my contract is up. Though I am thinking of going from iPhone to DroidX. The iPhone 3G is good, but annoyingly slow, and some of the policies that changed with upgrades to newer iOS don't sit well with me, so I am still running 3.0. The only thing I might miss is the talk and surf which does come in very handy. So I am covered by your number 3. Most of my friends and family have Verizon, and they have all mentioned wanting to switch to the iPhone, so I am not sure your option 1 is very correct, though it may slow the adoption. In my mind that can only help Verizon as it gives the network the opportunity to grow with the demand.

Re:Nothing? (2)

Enry (630) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825968)

What I mean is all the people that wanted a true smartphone got one in the past year - they got a Droid. Few will want to pay again to get an iPhone. That leaves you with the people whose contracts are almost up and haven't upgraded. Around here (Boston), that's a fairly small number. I see almost as many Droid phones as I do iPhones.

Oh, and the talk-and-surf works when you're on wifi. I don't know if LTE lets you do that.

Re:Nothing? (2, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825846)

Agreed. AT&T is Southwest Bell with lipstick. They had the worst customer service, lousiest coverage, and weakest share. Apple needed to have a CDMA phone along with its GSM offering. They could have covered all bases, but had to capitulate to the fact that AT&T and most of the world is GSM. So they made their choice.

I stuck with Verizon not because of any love whatsoever, rather they have coverage and a decently designed data coverage network. At the top are the same bunch of monopolistic-minded greedy execs seeking to suck every last coin out of your pocket-- customer churn be damned.

Android isn't a piece of cake, but on the whole, the values behind it (and not Google as a company behind it) will continue to overtake Apple. Verizon should careful; in the post-9/11 market capitalization atmosphere, they could follow Sprint's fate easily, IMHO. Quality and service count. If they keep their eye on this, they'll do well.

Re:Nothing? (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825994)

That's like saying the Chateau Latour wines had the chance to dominate the market if only they were sold in more restaurants.

1) They're hideously expensive
2) Although they're good, many others are also good, quite a few at a much lower price.
3) Even if they were the best in the world, they're not to everyone's taste.
4) Most people just want to get sloshed.

Re:Nothing? (3, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#33826018)

Not too long ago Apple didn't have one of the most popular phones on the market. Instead, they were the underdog. The ROKR was an epic failure and no one really knew if Apple could pull off a phone.

But they went shopping around anyway, more or less 'begging' to let someone take their yet un announced product. Not only that, they were asking the network to NOT have total control of the device. (These were the days when Verizon would cripple a phone to turn a quick $.50 making you send a photo on their network). In addition to that they were asking them to upgrade their servers, spend money, so that it could do this fancy thing called 'Visual Voicemail.' In return for all of this, Apple would sign a exclusivity contract with said network.

Sprint* said thank you and respectfully declined. AT&T also declined. Verizon's CEO went above declining and more or less gave Jobs the finger. Cingular said 'what the heck' and let Apple in.

AT&T bought Cingular, honored the contract and here we are today.

It was a HUGE gamble. It paid off, but Apple had never made a phone before. There was no "AppStore". The iPod Touch didn't exist. iTunes Music store existed, but wasn't a dominant force in the marketplace and still DRM protected.

But Apple didn't "blow" anything. No one predicted the iPhone's success, not even Apple. AT&T is clinging to that contract like a liferaft, because they know the second it is up Verizon is going to bend over backwards to accomodate the iPhone.
* All gathered from internet hearsay over the years.

Re:Nothing? (2, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825468)

Android is the fastest selling smartphone OS, there are any number of Android options and lots of people who talk up Androids to their friends and families (myself included). If Android hasn't created a strong enough following to survive (and thrive) with the iPhone as real competition (it never was with it being tied to ATT in my opinion) then it deserves to die, and I say that as a die-hard Android fan. So... maybe not nothing, but it shouldn't really effect Android long term if Android is as serious a competitor for the iPhone as a lot of people think it is.

Re:Nothing? (2, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825640)

There are more people who will ditch AT&T for Verizon than there are people who will ditch Android for iPhone, for the simple fact that the U.S. isn't the whole world. Also, some people dislike the need for going through a goddamn 12 step program just to change the ringtone. For a few things where there's money involved for Apple, the iPhone is remarkably user hostile.

Re:Nothing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825738)

For a few things where there's money involved for Apple, the iPhone is remarkably user hostile.

For a lot of things where there's money involved for Verizon, their Android devices are remarkably user hostible.

More and more recent Android devices released for Verizon are locking the standard, cross-app non-geographic searching to Bing ... are locking the standard cross-app geographic searching to a choice between a version of Bing Maps that's been deliberately hobbled to omit turn-by-turn directions and a version of Verizon's subscription-based VZNavigator, etc.

Re:Nothing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825772)

Yeah, and in the rest of the world, iPhone is more popular than Android.

Look it up, I'm serious.

Re:Nothing? (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825876)

There are more people who will ditch AT&T for Verizon than there are people who will ditch Android for iPhone, for the simple fact that the U.S. isn't the whole world. Also, some people dislike the need for going through a goddamn 12 step program just to change the ringtone. For a few things where there's money involved for Apple, the iPhone is remarkably user hostile.

12 step?

Settings > Sounds > Ringtones > select ringtone from list and exit.

On android:

Settings > Sounds and Display > Phone Ringtone > select ringtone from list > OK > now exit.

Re:Nothing? (1)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825886)

Yes it is . . . I could give dozens of examples like the changing ringtone (why wouldn't that be built into iTunes . . . ?) but I'm just going to get rid of the iPhone. I'm glad it came out though, as without it I doubt the current android offerings would be nearly as good. Hell, I might even still be using a RAZR.

Re:It means nothing to Android. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825380)

Nobody cares if the iPhone comes to Verizon anymore. Maybe this would've been a big deal a year ago, but Verizon already has a nice stable of devices which are superior now.

Re:It means nothing to Android. (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825614)

The iPhone will not be coming to Verizon anytime soon, no matter how many people post wishful texts onto Macrumors about it:

1: Even with LTE out, it will be years before previous protocols (GSM, CDMA) will be made completely redundant. Even now, if I go to rural areas, phones fall back to EDGE or even GPRS. Until LTE completely replaces GSM and CDMA, you won't find an iPhone on Verizon. Otherwise it would have to fall back to something, and that would be CDMA.

2: Apple is not going to put in CDMA in their devices. It is an obsolete "3G" protocol, and makes about as much sense as putting in AMPS back in phones. If Apple did CDMA, it wouldn't be in the US. The US's CDMA protocol is deliberately crippled and incompatible with the "real" standards. Other countries with CDMA like China use R/UIM cards for their devices (similar functionality as SIM cards.) It will be understandable for Apple to do CDMA for these markets, but not in the US where they are thriving with GSM based equipment.

3: Why would Apple bother with Verizon? T-Mobile would make far more sense because it would take another band for T-Mo's 3G, but it wouldn't take a completely new antenna. Also, Verizon showed Apple the door in the past. I doubt they will get a second chance.

So because it would require Apple to add another antenna into an already packed device, CDMA is not going to happen, unless Apple is gunning for a market where CDMA is a requirement.

Re:It means nothing to Android. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825776)

It is an obsolete "3G" protocol

Kind of like how the original iPhone only worked on that obsolete 2G protocol.

Re:It means nothing to Android. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825382)

iPhone does let you write your own apps, fandroid.

Heck, you can even jailbreak it and do what you want.

Get the facts, not the propaganda.

Re:It means nothing to Android. (2, Insightful)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825916)

iPhone does let you write your own apps, fandroid.

And if you pay $99, Steve Jobs will even let you run your apps on your own phone.

Re:It means nothing to Android. (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825504)

If I wanted an iPhone, I would have gotten one. But since I wanted to write my own apps, Android was a much more attractive platform.

Rather, it means nothing to Android users who are also programmers/developers. Perhaps you haven't talked to a mobile-tech layperson in a while. Many customers are dying for an iPhone to become available on their networks. There's still a large chunk of users who would rather wait than switch carriers.

Re:It means nothing to Android. (1)

SailorSpork (1080153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825508)

And I'm sure you are not representative of the average iPhone user, who is willing to pay $0.99 for an application that makes farting noises at the press of a big button or has the clothes fall of the pretty lady when the phone is tipped sideways. This would eat substantially into Android's share if iPhone was offered in other networks.

Re:It means nothing to Android. (1)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825536)

So it means nothing to Android for you. For those of us who merely can't stand AT&T's crappy network, it means a lot.

Banned for life!! (2, Insightful)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825618)

But since I wanted to write my own apps...

Gee, so Apple has banned you from writing iPhone apps? Gosh, that sucks.

Re:It means nothing to Android. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825730)

Is your name Android? You've stated that it means nothing to Android, but I think you meant it means nothing to you. Everyone in my family is on Verizon and they have Android phones because they wanted something similar to an iPhone but they didn't want to switch to AT&T. I bet you at least 50% of verizon Android users would have an iPhone if they could get one. You have to understand that most people aren't technical like us.

Re:It means nothing to Android. (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825872)

I don't think it means anything for Android. In fact, it could be good for Android.

It seems like AT&T is doing everything they can to milk the iPhone exclusivity and not piss off Apple enough to start selling iPhones through other carriers. Just look at AT&T's piss poor rollout of Android-based handsets - One of the linked articles links to another article about three new Android phones coming out for AT&T from Motorola. Note that every single one of these "new" phones lags at least 4-6 months behind Verizon's Android offerings, and in terms of hardware specs, behind even some of AT&T's Windows Mobile offerings. (HVGA or QVGA screen? Are you kidding me? My Tilt 2 came out last October and has a full WVGA screen. Also note that nearly everyone including Motorola is moving to 1 GHz+ Snapdragon-based phones except these three low-speed offerings for AT&T.)

I'm beginning to be tempted to return to Verizon. I ditched Verizon for AT&T 3-4 years ago because I was sick of Verizon phones coming out 6-9 months after Sprint with numerous features removed (such as the Treo 650's lack of Bluetooth DUN on VZW). Now, a few years later, VZW has done a complete about-face (at least with Android) which completely shocked me, and AT&T is now doing the same crap Verizon did a few years ago in the name of milking the iPhone for all it's worth.

Once AT&T loses iPhone exclusivity, they're going to have to shape up with their Android offerings, otherwise Verizon will have both the iPhone and superior Android offerings for those that don't want an iPhone. Meanwhile, it is getting to the point where all AT&T has is the iPhone.

Re:It means nothing to Android. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825936)

If I wanted an iPhone, I would have gotten one. But since I wanted to write my own apps, Android was a much more attractive platform.

i have an iPhone, and i write my own apps! maybe you should learn objective C, Then you could write apps for the iPhone too!

Question (1)

KillaGouge (973562) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825160)

the ultimate question I have, is will Verizon make you use V-cast apps? Will they force you to use Bing? Will they even allow you to use the App Store?

Re:Question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825200)

And a followup question. Are you mentally retarded, or do you just believe everything you read on the internet?

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825744)

He's both retarded and believes everything he reads on teh interwebz, you inconsiderate clod!

Re:Question (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825242)

From what I understand, V-Cast has been a major point of contention between Apple and Verizon. At least, that's what the rumors are saying...

That being said, I don't know why Verizon pushes their V-Cast services so hard...out of all the people I know that use Verizon, I don't know anyone that actually uses anything V-Cast has to offer.

Re:Question (3, Insightful)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825520)

That being said, I don't know why Verizon pushes their V-Cast services so hard...out of all the people I know that use Verizon, I don't know anyone that actually uses anything V-Cast has to offer.

Our logic states that because nobody uses V-Cast and hasn't used it in the X years it's been around, perhaps they should realize their failure, stop pushing it, and try something else, as it's clear nobody wants it.

Their logic states that because nobody uses V-Cast and hasn't used it in the X years it's been around, it obviously has not been pushed hard enough, as it's clear these customers are misbehaving by not throwing their money at it.

Re:Question (1)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825572)

Agreed. I can't believe that enough people use V-Cast for Verizon to make back the licensing fees they must be paying to have the content.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825576)

Vcast is marketed to average consumers of multi-media handsets. I don't believe many tech enthusiasts are buying from Vcast. For that matter it would surprise me if the early adopter tech enthusiasts use iTunes either, as it seems a little un-negotiable and bossy to use. I don't care for iTunes myself, but I can see the value and appeal for folks that aren't genuinely interested in flexible software.
I cant imagine Verizon has any say about people connecting their iDevices to iTunes. Naturally a VZW iPhone will have full compatibility with all things Apple. Isn't that the point? To get the Apple ecosystem on another US carrier? If VZW had the desire to sell an iPhone that doesn't easily work with iTunes they would be crazy. Oh wait. They did, and its called Android. When iPhone becomes available on VZW nothing will have changed except the brand faithful will feel less like victims.

Re:Question (2, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825252)

Well, they don't make you use V-cast or Bing on Android phones, and they let you use the Marketplace.

At least, this is true for 2 Verizon Android phones, which is how many I have experience with.

Re:Question (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825262)

Hah? I have a Droid X on Verizon and I can use Google to search, download from the Android Market, and haven't touched V-Cast.

Re:Question (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825372)

As others have said.. seriously? Have you not played with an Android (or any other smart phone on Verizon?) You can download and install your own apps with or without a store.. Windows Mobile, Android, BB OS, etc.

I don't know where you read that, or got that idea, but no. Samsung Fantastic: Market works fine. Can install apps from websites fine. Etc Etc.

My BlackBerry: Used the BB App World just fine. Installed from Websites just fine, etc, etc.

My old Win Mobile phone: No app store, could install from websites just fine, etc.

Re:Question (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825514)

As others have said.. seriously? Have you not played with an Android (or any other smart phone on Verizon?) You can download and install your own apps with or without a store.. Windows Mobile, Android, BB OS, etc.

Carriers are just wising up to the fact that Motorola, HTC, etc., are really still their bitches when it comes to Android phones. As they figure out more and more of Android, the restrictions will be coming down the pipeline. This can be seen as each carrier pre-loads each Android phone with tons of crapware.

And AT&T's already restricting the ability to sideload apps. Sure you can use ADB and other commands to push apps still (they just removed the checkbox), but it's getting to the point where the phones are not only getting more and more locked down, but carriers are realizing that they don't have to be so open anymore.

Hell, didn't Verizon announce their own Android app store? Who's gonna bet that the Google Marketplace app suddenly disappears from Verizon phones?

I suppose it's pretty sad that it's only Apple to smack down the carriers - you can be sure AT&T among others wish that Apple would preload a bunch of their apps onto their phones already instead of having to fight it out in the App Store or include a brochure with every sale to say how to improve your AT&T iPhone experience by downloading their apps.

Re:Question (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825426)

I have a Droid X on my desk right by my iPhone. I have yet to use V-cast or Bing, and I have used the Google App Store to purchase a number of apps to make life easier. Android and Verizon have their faults, but access to the App Store isn't one of them.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825436)

Bing will be replaceable with standard Google search on Froyo. Supposedly, it was never that Verizon blocked Google search, it's that Google never put their widget and search provider on the market because they couldn't package it as a single APK. Apparently, this is fixed in Froyo.

Far as I know, the rest of the Verizon is in, VCast and all.

4G LTE might be the bees knees, but knowing Verizon, they'll charge for 4g access at all then _extra_ for tethering, and probably even more to uncap it and more to unthrottle it, etc. If so, Sprint is going to look a lot nicer. I get a lot of bars with vzw where I am, but damn if they're not the most annoyingly nickel-and-dime outfit.

The missing piece (3, Informative)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825208)

In many way this is what will allow Verizon to get the iPhone. When the iPhone 5 comes out it is bound to support 4G, so even if Verizon is not an official partner, people will be able to use the phone there.

I have never been convinced that Apple would want to add CDMA capability, just for Verizon, because of the extra licensing costs and the fact Verizon had already announced that it was putting in place a 4G GSM network. I may still be wrong about Qualcomm-CDMA support being added (CDMA is part of GSM in the form of wave encoding, not protocol), though we will see.

Re:The missing piece (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825290)

If nothing else, adding GSM to a portion of their network will at least open up consumer options regarding which phones they want to use. I have a feeling that unlocked phones may become even more commonplace in this country once they can be used on all the major US carriers.

Re:The missing piece (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825362)

But we actually have fracturing not unification happening in the US.

T-mobile and AT&T used to have compatible networks, now though, to get 3G on T-mobile it needs to be a T-mobile phone.

Re:The missing piece (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825464)

But we actually have fracturing not unification happening in the US.

T-mobile and AT&T used to have compatible networks, now though, to get 3G on T-mobile it needs to be a T-mobile phone.

To get unified head to head competition, you, the consumer needs to complain loudly to the FCC to do whatever they need to do to get everyone access to the same frequency bands on GSM/HSPA. WIthout consumer/citizen pressure, it will never happen.

Canada used to be fractured between GSM and CDMA as well but enough pressure was brought to bear that the CDMA carrier ended up rolling out HSPA+ to compete directly with the established GSM/HSPA carriers and now people in Canada can choose Rogers, Fido (city focused brand of Rogers), Bell, Telus or Virgin (city focused brand of Bell) as a carrier and buy either a subsidized (locked) iPhone from one of those carriers or an unsubsidized unlocked model from Apple stored directly.

Re:The missing piece (3, Insightful)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825534)

Is it really worth it to buy an unlocked phone though? As it is you get a big discount on a new phone in exchange for your contract. I am not aware of any provider that gives you a monthly discount in exchange for not taking advantage of that discount. If you know of one I would be very interested.

I think that is what would have to change because as it is, having no contract isn't that much of an advantage, assuming you know you will want to have a phone for the next 2 years and getting a deep discount on a new phone is very attractive.

Re:The missing piece (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825754)

I completely agree...the "New Every Two" deal that Verizon has had going for a while has been enough for me to stay with them (as has their extensive coverage where I live.) Still, however small, there is a market for unlocked devices, and being able to use the same phone on more carriers is certainly a good thing for that market.

By proxy, I think this would also help out the second-hand market.

Re:The missing piece (1)

radeon21 (1183313) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825838)

T-Mobile does, I believe it's something on the order of $20/month for their everything plan

Re:The missing piece (1)

kerryfi (1917362) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825300)

This just allows them to sell more Iphones in the universe, and grow marketshare. Then when the Iphone 5 comes out all of those 4 users would want it.

Re:The missing piece (1)

Hintertux (1365055) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825964)

It seems so wasteful to sell so many phones.

Re:The missing piece (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825328)

In many way this is what will allow Verizon to get the iPhone. When the iPhone 5 comes out it is bound to support 4G, so even if Verizon is not an official partner, people will be able to use the phone there.

That's not exactly clear. Will the phone be unlocked? Will all carriers be using the same frequencies for 4G?

Re:The missing piece (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825390)

That's not exactly clear. Will the phone be unlocked? Will all carriers be using the same frequencies for 4G?

If you buy your phone contract free elsewhere it should be unlocked. Chances are not all carries will be using the same frequencies, so the phone will need to support them. One other bonus for Verizon, other than getting more phone selection at lower cost, is access to roaming customers.

Re:The missing piece (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825334)

There is no such thing as 4G GSM. 4G is LTE, which is OFDMA (and based on CDMA). GSM is ancient 2G TDMA. Verizon will be CDMA (3G) and LTE (4G). Although it will use a SIM card, it will most definitely not use GSM.

Re:The missing piece (1)

LiMikeTnux (770345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825500)

There is "no such thing" as 4G right now, anyway. It is nothing more than a marketing term, while they work out which standards apply.

Re:The missing piece (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825724)

IIRC, 4G is technically voice and data on the same stack. The dedicated radio needed for voice is replaced by VoIP.

Of course, this brings in some issues: Phones need to do QoS so if someone is yapping on the device while doing a hefty torrent, the conversation doesn't get interrupted.

Re:The missing piece (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825970)

Sprint rolled out Wimax here in Arizona so I say 4G is here right now, I have a tower not 500 yards away from me. I do wish all the carriers would go with a single technical standard but then they would have to compete with their networks and all of their networks have problems. I give Sprint the edge right now with voice coverage as I can always make a call while ATT I would rank last in voice coverage. Verizon seems to be the spot in the middle with coverage.

Re:The missing piece (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825650)

There is no such thing as 4G GSM. 4G is LTE, which is OFDMA (and based on CDMA). GSM is ancient 2G TDMA. Verizon will be CDMA (3G) and LTE (4G). Although it will use a SIM card, it will most definitely not use GSM.

Hey Verizon drone/employee, stop with the FUD. HSPA is marketed as as 3G GSM in many markets. It uses W-CDMA for an air interface but the core network can be shared with established 2G (EDGE). W-CDMA is not directly based on CDMA2000 (used by Sprint/Verizon) but only shares a similar air interface strategy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3GPP_Long_Term_Evolution [wikipedia.org]
 

3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE), is the latest standard in the mobile network technology tree that previously realized the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSxPA network technologies.

Much of the standard addresses upgrading 3G UMTS to 4G mobile communications technology, which is essentially a mobile broadband system with enhanced multimedia services built on top.

LTE is the evolution of the UMTS standard (aka 3G GSM aka HSPA aka FOMA). The 4G upgrade path for CDMA died on the operating table which forced carriers like Verizon to switch to upgrading to LTE instead.

Re:The missing piece (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825934)

HSPA is marketed as as 3G GSM

Marketed as, but isn't.

Re:The missing piece (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825820)

There is no such thing as 4G GSM. 4G is LTE, which is OFDMA (and based on CDMA). GSM is ancient 2G TDMA. Verizon will be CDMA (3G) and LTE (4G). Although it will use a SIM card, it will most definitely not use GSM.

You are mixing concepts and also letting yourself get lost in the marketing. GSM is a technology umbrella governed by the GSM Association [gsmworld.com] . Traditionally when people talk about CDMA at a high level they are talking about Qualcomm CDMA, which is a protocol for mobile communication, which also happens to be using CDMA encoding. Since 3G GSM, WCDMA encoding schema has been incorporated, but this is not Qualcomm's solution.

In North America 3G and 4G had been used without context and originally talked about Qualcomm's technologies. To avoid confusion new terms were used to differentiate the GSM based solutions.

Some of the technologies which make up the GSM portfolio:

http://www.gsmworld.com/technology/index.htm [gsmworld.com]

Outside of North America when people talk about GSM, they don't think about 2G, 3G, etc, but about the general mobile communication technology.

Re:The missing piece (2, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825394)

No the missing piece that everyone conveniently forgets is AT&T. They have a deal with Apple that makes the iPhone exclusive to them until 2012. Until that deal is canceled or altered, there is no chance Verizon will get an iPhone in 2011. Even Verizon says that any Verizon iPhone announcement will come from Apple not from them. [pcworld.com]

Before anyone quips about how they heard it on the internet about the Verizon iPhone 2011 from a reliable source, I suggest that they trace back to the original source of the information. Almost always the source is an "analyst" not connected to Verizon, Apple, or AT&T. Most often, the source is an analyst whose livelihood relies on people paying attention to their predictions. I think it's just another example of if something is repeated enough times, people believe it's a fact. Ever since the original iPhone in 2007, there has been a rumor that there will be a Verizon iPhone next year. The year comes and goes and it gets repeated again.

Re:The missing piece (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825544)

Except you forget that AT&T's performance has been terrible. Apple likely has an out, there.

Re:The missing piece (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825642)

I haven't read the exclusivity deal and don't know what options Apple has to get out of it. I don't know if AT&T would ever agree on such a clause. For the sake of argument, Apple has a "network performance" clause in the deal. AT&T would likely fight it. The legal battle will take a while, far longer than the end of deal (2012) would have been. So what benefit would it give Apple to spend all the money and resources to end the contract a year early?

Re:The missing piece (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825592)

Do you have a source for that 2012 contract bit? I have never been able to find a concrete bit of data on how long the exclusive deal between Apple and AT&T is.

I agree with you that Apple will be the one to announce any change and not verizon, though I wouldnt be surprised if the info gets leaked ahead of time. That said, you wouldn't know a real leak from the constant rumors unless someone looses an iPhone at a bar that has Verizon in the top bar instead of AT&T

Re:The missing piece (2, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825728)

Google is your friend [google.com] :
"at&t iphone exclusivity"

It was reported back in May 2010 by engadget, mashable, and CNN for starters. The deal was disclosed in relation to a class-action lawsuit about Apple monopoly power and illegal tying.

Re:The missing piece (0, Troll)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825930)

That said, you wouldn't know a real leak from the constant rumors unless someone looses an iPhone at a bar that has Verizon in the top bar instead of AT&T

jeez a FOUR DIGITAL /. ID, and still you can't spell.

Re:The missing piece (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825636)

They have a deal with Apple that makes the iPhone exclusive to them until 2012.

With only one more year, it'd be pretty easy for Apple to renegotiate. They could offer ATT better terms going forward, or alternatively not deal with them at all later if they don't cooperate. That contract doesn't have a lot of power at this point.

Re:The missing piece (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825808)

With only one more year, it'd be pretty easy for Apple to renegotiate. They could offer ATT better terms going forward, or alternatively not deal with them at all later if they don't cooperate. That contract doesn't have a lot of power at this point.

A contract is still a contract. They could extend it and negotiate a new contract, but it doesn't do Apple or AT&T a lot of good to alter the original terms of it at this point. And if they did, you'd hear it from Apple or AT&T first, not some analyst. They're only guessing at best. And I bet if you told the analyst about the deal, he/she would have not known about it.

Re:The missing piece (2, Interesting)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825682)

As far as I can tell, this assertion is speculation as well. According to court filings, it appears Apple and AT&T signed a 5 year exclusivity contract in 2007 as the iPhone was launching. It was not clear at all at the time how popular the iPhone would become. There's no reason to believe the contract has remained intact for 4 years. That's eons for consumer electronics contracts. It's much more likely that exclusivity, margins, etc. were all renegotiated as each side learned more about how the iPhone was performing in the market.

Re:The missing piece (2, Insightful)

tomz16 (992375) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825794)

In many way this is what will allow Verizon to get the iPhone. When the iPhone 5 comes out it is bound to support 4G, so even if Verizon is not an official partner, people will be able to use the phone there.

Don't be so sure. IIRC, verizon is using the sim-less variant of LTE. So if the MEID isn't in the database the phone isn't getting on the network without committing a felony! The mere existence of a CDMA iphone doesn't mean that it will be easy to get on Verizon.

I have never been convinced that Apple would want to add CDMA capability, just for Verizon, because of the extra licensing costs and the fact Verizon had already announced that it was putting in place a 4G GSM network. I may still be wrong about Qualcomm-CDMA support being added (CDMA is part of GSM in the form of wave encoding, not protocol), though we will see.

Again, don't be so sure. A CDMA-less verizon phone is pretty much a paperweight for the forseeable decade. LTE rollout will be *very* limited initially (mostly large markets). Also, to correct you, GSM is TDMA. Modern 3G GSM data (e.g. HSDPA) is CDMA.

Everyone (0, Troll)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825250)

and their brothaz are thinking about what Android's gonna think, but Android's brothaz are busy thinking also. Of course, by this point Verizon is thinking - is network capacity even going to hold up?

too little too late (4, Interesting)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825282)

Tons of people got tired of waiting for the iPhone on Verizon and had to settle for an Android phone only figure out, "Hey, this Android stuff is actually pretty cool!" and now have no desire for an iPhone. So Apple might get more of the currently-smartphoneless-on-Verizon demographic when their contracts allow them to upgrade, but I think they've lost every single one that's bought into Android up to this point.

Re:too little too late (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825326)

The one advantage iPhones still have over Android phones would be gaming. There are some great emulators available for Android, but other than that, it has nothing on the iPhone when it comes to gaming.

That being said, excluding gaming, it's Android for me all the way.

Re:too little too late (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825418)

Sure, but touch-screen devices suck for gaming no matter what you are running on them. Granted, tethering a Bluetooth controller like a Wii-Remote with a Classic Controller attached makes gaming downright awesome on both platforms.

And quite honestly, I'd rather play a good retro game than play any more of the iPhone's half-baked "games".

Re:too little too late (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825810)

Sure, but touch-screen devices suck for gaming no matter what you are running on them.

Agreed (except for tower defense games...those were made for a finger). I was referring more to the quantity and quality of games available in the Apple app store compared to the Android app store.

And quite honestly, I'd rather play a good retro game than play any more of the iPhone's half-baked "games".

There are some really good ones available for the iPhone. There are a couple of good ones for Android as well (Zenonia, Stranded, Pirates and Traders...), but overall there are definitely more quality titles available for the iPhone.

I do love how there are emulators (and even rom packs, although you can still use "standard" rom files loaded on an SD card) available right from the official Android app store...when people ask me to describe a major difference between the Android and iPhone app stores, I just say "emulators".

Re:too little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825984)

There are some great emulators available for Android, but other than that, it has nothing on the iPhone when it comes to gaming.

That's changing rapidly. Feint recently added Android support, and the games are coming out fast. Fruit Ninja and Mini Squadron generated a little bit of buzz. Angry Birds is in beta right now, Galcon was released awhile ago. Gaming is growing on the Android. By the end of next year the iPhone could easily lose the gaming advantage.

Not going to happen. Here's why. (3, Insightful)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825376)

Ever notice that beyond the bold carrier emblems on the phones themselves that virtually all smartphones sold on Verizon are advertised by Verizon instead of the handset makers themselves? Contrast that with the iPhone which might be sold exclusively in the US on AT&T but it is marketed by Apple directly and there are no AT&T (or other carriers for that matter) logos anywhere to be found on the phone or in the manuals.

Those other handset makers have allowed themselves to be relegated OEMs for the carriers while Apple markets directly to the consumer and only used the carriers as subsidized sales channels. This means that Apple manufactures one model (save for the Chinese no-Wifi model) for use worldwide and only enters IMEIs into their database to as sim LOCKED for any carrier that requests it. Except for different manuals and charger models, the iPhone you buy in the US/Canada or the UK only differ in what is included in the box and the phone itself is the same production run.

Even assuming that Verizon agreed to no branding on the phone either physically or in software/logo form, Apple would have to either create a special run for Verizon (CDMA) or raise the costs for every iPhone manufactured by switching to a CDMA/GSM model for no added benefit for people living outside of the US.

Re:Not going to happen. Here's why. (2, Insightful)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825548)

Ever notice that beyond the bold carrier emblems on the phones themselves that virtually all smartphones sold on Verizon are advertised by Verizon instead of the handset makers themselves? Contrast that with the iPhone which might be sold exclusively in the US on AT&T but it is marketed by Apple directly and there are no AT&T (or other carriers for that matter) logos anywhere to be found on the phone or in the manuals.

Other AT&T phones have AT&T branding all over them, just like the other cell phone networks. I'd imagine AT&T wanted the iPhone branded with their logo, but that they got shot down. I also suspect Apple wouldn't give on that issue in talks with Verizon.

Re:Not going to happen. Here's why. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825630)

Apple is already making a CDMA iPhone, and it's on Verizon. Rolls out in Q1. Try to keep up.

Re:Not going to happen. Here's why. (1)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825950)

Apple is already making a CDMA iPhone, and it's on Verizon. Rolls out in Q1. Try to keep up.

Yeah, sure, right.

Re:Not going to happen. Here's why. (1)

Bassman59 (519820) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825880)

Ever notice that beyond the bold carrier emblems on the phones themselves that virtually all smartphones sold on Verizon are advertised by Verizon instead of the handset makers themselves? Contrast that with the iPhone which might be sold exclusively in the US on AT&T but it is marketed by Apple directly and there are no AT&T (or other carriers for that matter) logos anywhere to be found on the phone or in the manuals.

I see your point, and I agree with it, but if you look in the upper-left corner of an iPhone by the signal-strength meter (please, enough with the idiot "how many bars?" crap), you'll see the magic letters "AT&T."

LTE != 4G (1)

Scyber (539694) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825386)

It doesn't meet the requirements for 4G.

Re:LTE != 4G (1)

LiMikeTnux (770345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825554)

there is no "4G" as of yet, but if anything, LTE would be exactly what is required. It is also, by design, more scalable while using less resources than HSDPA+ As of now they are still working on what "4G" actually defines, and until then, it is nothing more than a marketing term.

Re:LTE != 4G (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825594)

Just like the current WiMax.
LTE Advanced will be 4G.
Anyways do we really care about the number of Gs? Why don't they just give us the bandwidth?

Data plan pricing (1)

Isaac-Lew (623) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825398)

How much (more) are people willing to pay for data on a Verizon iPhone? None of the articles I've read even mention this.
I think Sprint is a likelier target, given that a) they already have a 4G network deployed in a lot of cities b) their customers are prepared to pay a surcharge for 4G - $10/month c) said data plan is unlimited.

Re:Data plan pricing (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825608)

The $10 surcharge is precisely why I won't get a 4G phone when my Sprint contract is up for renewal. If it wasn't for the free mobile calls across the board I would've dropped my Sprint phone for an alternative a while ago. I already pay $70 + fees and taxes per month for it, and now they want me to pay $10 extra a month for the privilege of 4G? Shove it.

I remember when cell phone plan prices were going down, now they just seem to be climbing ever upward.

On the iPhone coming to Verizon (2, Insightful)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825430)

I'll just cut and paste a comment I made about this on another site:

How many years have they been predicting this, and how many times have those predictions failed to come true? I used to say that I won't believe this until Verizon or Apple themselves announce it. I'm now at the point where I won't believe it until I'm actually holding a Verizon iPhone in my hand, and even then I'll be dubious.

Re:On the iPhone coming to Verizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825522)

OK. Thanks for the heads-up. Let me know when you do. I look forward to reading it.

Re:On the iPhone coming to Verizon (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825746)

That was the case with the iPad. It was predicted since the Newton, and never came to fruition until 2010. If you predict something even remotely likely for long enough, it's bound to come true.

Re:On the iPhone coming to Verizon (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825848)

If you predict something even remotely likely for long enough, it's bound to come true.

You mean like Iraq having weapons of mass destru-

**NO CARRIER**

High speed still with low usage caps? (2, Informative)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825480)

I'm all for high-speed mobile Internet, but will they continue with their abysmally low usage caps?

WOOT! I can watch a full HD movie, streaming it almost in real-time... well, most of it anyway: capped out before the climax? Ahh well, I can finish it once my billing cycle rolls back around.

Yes, I know it's not quite that bad, but you get the point: at the same time all sorts of ISPs and mobile network operators are increasing speeds and falling all over themselves to tell you how quickly you can do stuff, they're capping out monthly transfer at cripplingly low numbers.

Verizon vPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825538)

I have never done business with such a money hungry company as Verizon. When Verizon gets a phone, it looses a portion of its functionality before they start selling it. I used to be a customer until every phone I bought from them removed file transfer functionality. But you can happily purchase ringtones from them for $2 each or pay them $35 to backup your pictures, contacts and calendars. Maybe they'll add a 'data sync' plan for $20 a month that will allow users to backup their vPhone with iTunes. God forbid you ever download a video clip even as a v-cast subscriber. $3 royalty charges in addition to the monthly v-cast billing for each download. I can easily see Verizon's version of the iPhone as being the first smartphone with bloatware on it, because there is no way they are going to let their users enjoy any sort of extra features (videos, games, productivity apps) without having to go through one of their apps and pay outrageous fees.

Re:Verizon vPhone (2, Informative)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825954)

"I can easily see Verizon's version of the iPhone as being the first smartphone with bloatware on it"

You haven't been paying attention. Samsung in particular is adding plenty of bloatware to the Galaxy phones.

See? Android rules! :)

I don't care about phones. (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825604)

GSM and CDMA are fine for making phone calls. If Verizon had 4G, they could offer regular internet service faster than many LECs and cable companies are able/willing to offer.

Question (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825680)

Will those of us slumming on AT&T be able to switch to Verizon with the iPhone we currently have?

Re:Question (1)

PipsqueakOnAP133 (761720) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825830)

No. Absolutely not.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825948)

From what i've read LTE is supposed to be able to fall back to the older "GSM" standards, so theoretically yes! What frequencies VZ is allotted may not allow for that though, since TMO and ATT already have all the standard USA GSM frequencies called for. however if it does work you will NOT get 4G speeds on your old phone!!!

if you really want something speedy NOW, id say go to TMO, their HSPA+ network has a theoretical 22mbps NOW, i have seen real world speed tests hitting 10mbps, and some point in the future they are going to upgrade the HSPA+ to 44mbps. You can have this NOW, while Verizon stumbles though working out the quirks and limited coverage on their LTE network and the inevitable limited selection of LTE handsets for the 1st year or so. By then TMO will likely be rolling out LTE themselves. even if you dont get one of the few HSPA+ capable phones on TMO, the wide selection of HSPA phones will still use the HSPA+ network at lower speeds. you can expect real world speeds of around 5mbps. Which is about the speed you get on sprint/clearwire that they are trying to pawn off as a 4g network! lmao

Verizon iPhone (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825786)

Even if it was my "new every 2" year, I wouldn't be getting an iPhone. I like to play classic games on console emulators on my phone. I like to be able to visit flash based web sites when necessary. I also like to be able to transfer things back and forth over USB and bluetooth without worrying about whether I'm allowed to do that. I don't buy my music from iTunes. I like free tethering.

Of course Verizon will love the iPhone, because the whole concept fits in with their control freak persona.

Who will back down? (1)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825792)

Assuming this is true, it'll be interesting to see who will back down when it comes to customising the handset. You don't need me to tell you that Verizon are notoriously bad at modifying a device to suit their ends and that Apple are unrepentant that the experience of the iPhone should not be compromised by the whims of a carrier.

However Apple's growth in the US isn't really doing so well as it used to and any meaningful increase in market share will need to come from new operators. Now you could argue that Apple isn't about market share but revenue and whilst that is true, the last thing they want is developers defecting to Android because it gives them a larger target. Apple have been lucky that Google haven't really been on the ball with the Android Market. It still isn't available in many major countries and the user experience (especially when it comes to finding new content) isn't the best. However Google will eventually sort this out.

We may all joke about Ballmer jumping up and down yelling "Developers! Developers!" but he was right. If iOS starts losing its shine then Apple will need to find other ways to encourage people to continue developing for them. One of those has been to relax the restrictions and make it clearer for developers to understand the accreditation process - although sadly, I think this may have been more a case of fending off pending lawsuits, rather than realising that they may be on the cusp of a backlash.

This lack of market-share in the US means that Apple need Verizon far more than Verizon needs Apple. Which puts Verizon in a far stronger negotiating position. If Apple capitulate, then other operators may see this as an open invitation to try and push their requirements on Apple for future devices. In a future like this, iOS would suffer in the same way Android has, that is the carriers dictating the user experience.

I really hope Verizon don't win.

God Chips (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33825798)

Chipset makers are pushing WiMax and LTE together. Specifically, they've said that FD-LTE and WiMax are only separated by one or two patents covering the uplink channel, and they aren't going to support making separate chipsets anymore.

Qualcomm, Samsung and Beceem have all publicly said that their next chips will be multimode "God Chips" that can do FD-LTE, TD-LTE and WiMax with only software changes.

Qualcomm is rumored to be building the chipset for the CDMA iPhone. Given what Qualcomm is pushing other vendors to do, don't be suprised if it's radio core is powered by one of the new multimode chips that would enable it to work on Verizon's TD-LTE, Sprint's WiMax, and any FD-LTE replacement for WiMax in the future.

In fact, Qualcomm also makes a CPU core that uses the same ARM instruction set as all the other smartphone CPUs. I wouldn't be suprised if they're selling Apple a single solution and doing all the integration themselves. Apple could just be an OEM on this one.

That's the future-proof solution, anyway.

not only smartphones... (1)

kallistoteles (1807356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33825966)

I work as an productionengineer with the digital LTE units in the base station, and with all the work I put in to this, I hope you will use it to more than just smartphones... :)
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