By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 9:47 am
In the end, today’s Verizon “Latest News” event was pretty much what just about everybody expected it would be: the launch of the iPhone 4 on Verizon Wireless’s CDMA network. (My best guesses about the event were mostly accurate, although I said I thought Steve Jobs would be here–Apple COO Tim Cook was instead–and Verizon hasn’t announced anything at all about data plan pricing, let alone whether unlimited data will be available. And the predictions of late-January availability were a tad off: Current Verizon customers will be able to pre-order on February 3rd, and everyone else will need to wait until the phone goes on sale on February 10th.)
I predicted that there wouldn’t be any earthshaking news, but there would be at least one mildly newsworthy surprise. There was: The Verizon iPhone will have a mobile hotspot feature that lets up to five devices tether to the iPhone’s Internet connection via Wi-Fi. (The AT&T model offers only USB tethering.)
The hotspot, incidentally, isn’t an app, but just some new items in the iPhone 4 settings:
How similar is the Verizon iPhone to its AT&T cousin? Judging from the phones Verizon had here for hands-on demos, they’re nearly identical except for the Verizon model’s CDMA radio. There’s no Verizon logo on the phone. There are no Verizon apps preloaded on the phone. The only physical difference I spotted was that the antenna seam on the top of the AT&T model has been moved onto the left side of the phone, where it’s above the mute switch (which seems to have been moved slightly down the phone–I’m not sure what this means for case compatibility).
So now that nobody will ever again ask if the iPhone is coming to Verizon, are there any Verizon iPhone questions left to ask? Sure, plenty of them:
You have any other questions at the moment? Verizon fans, are you excited by the news, or disappointed that there were no stunners–or maybe a little bit of both? AT&T customers, are you contemplating jumping ship?