I’ve had 17 cell phones in the past nine years. I’ve had phones that flipped, spun and did almost everything short of cooking an omelet. But until this past summer — because I was on my parents’ contract with Verizon — owning an iPhone was out of the question.
So last June I decided it was time to change that. I canceled my Blackberry Tour with Big Red and preordered the iPhone 4 on AT&T. I scheduled it to be picked up at the Apple Store in Hollywood,
Calif., because I was planning a trip to visit a friend and couldn’t wait five extra days and a flight back east to get my hands on it.
When we got in line at the store at 4:15 a.m., there were about 300 people already there. After more than five hours of waiting, tweeting and drinking coffee, I finally had my sexy, shiny new phone.
Getting your first iPhone and realizing how much it can be practically applied on a daily basis is an experience unmatched by any other phone. Until today the iPhone was only available in the U.S. to loyal AT&T customers, but beginning at 3 a.m., Verizon customers are eligible to preorder the iPhone 4 for the first time.
Similar to the romance between Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in “The Notebook,” a Verizon iPhone was inevitable and a perfect pairing. The iPhone is arguably the must-have device of the decade, and Verizon is the nation’s largest provider, so the grouping of the two is electric — literally.
Aside from the layout of the antenna, the physical appearance of the Verizon iPhone and AT&T iPhone is practically identical. One aspect of the Verizon model, which does differ from its AT&T sibling is that software-wise it offers WiFi hotspot functionality for up to five users. Though this feature is something that comes standard on Android devices, it is a first for the iPhone.
One downside of the Verizon iPhone is that Big Red’s 3G network can’t handle simultaneous voice and data — users won’t be able to talk and check their e-mail at the same time. Verizon does get a leg up on AT&T in terms of data packages by offering an unlimited data option compared to AT&T’s top-tier plan that is capped at two gigabytes.
With that being said, the most significant question sweeping the web right now, aside from whether or not to preorder tickets to Justin Bieber’s upcoming 3-D movie, is do I switch to Verizon for the iPhone?
Analysts are throwing around eight-digit sales projections, but with the worst kept secret of 2011 being that the iPhone 4G or 5 is coming in a few months, it will be a tough sell for Verizon when the newest, hottest gadget is peeking over the horizon.
Andrew Weiser is a senior journalism major. E-mail him at email@example.com.