Verizon now carries the iPhone. It runs on its CDMA network not LTE, which means voice and data do not work at the same time, in my experience that’s a relatively rare use-case, so not a big issue. Facetime still works as voice and WiFi can work at the same time. It also includes a MiFi hotspot, so customers can connect other devices such as their iPad (assuming they’re Apple Cult members), laptop, or other mini-tablets through their VZ iPhone. I use the term mini-tablets as most tablets announced at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) were much smaller than the iPad, so for me fall into a strange category of poor phone and poor internet access device. At least the smartphone is an adequate phone and a device of last resort for internet access; while the iPad is a great internet access device.
Two nights ago there was a funny as well as sad commentary from the Daily Show with John Stewart (click of the link to see the video clip) on the announcement. In NYC (where the Daily Show is based) AT&T has struggled with reception issues, most operators given the concrete canyons in NYC do. What has frustrated many NYC-based iPhone users is AT&T not owning up to the continued poor performance. In the clip John Stewart’s cry of ‘Freedom’ demonstrates how detached mobile operators are from their customers when they are able to deliver an inadequate service over so many years.
I’ve discussed in other articles how customers will vote with their feet on whether operators remain their service provider, forcing them into a utility in a competitive market (not a monopoly like the other utilities.) The clip from the Daily Show demonstrates the poor state of our industry in the public’s opinion. This is a problem beyond just AT&T; though heads need to roll their in technology, executive and operations groups as well as their suppliers who have equally pretended the problems are not there. All operator must recognize the resentment they’re building in customers which is a threat to their survival as service providers. Rather than the current obsession on LTE, focus on investing in the core service of voice (why isn’t it HD already?) and internet access, getting that working to a satisfactory level will be much more satisfying for customers than arguing in public over who has the ‘real 4G’ and quoting data rates customers will rarely, if ever, experience.