Verizon Wireless leans heavily on its reputation as the most dependable network in the US. The company is betting this reputation that it will flawlessly launch millions of iPhones onto its airwaves without any of the snafus that faced AT&T. Some are starting to wonder if Verizon is really as bulletproof as it seems.
Various reports from around the country have cited network problems of various stripes affecting Verizon for hours, even days in the case of some BlackBerry owners. The company is aware of the problems and is working on correcting them, but the news comes at an awkward time for America's largest cellular carrier.
Here's the scoop from Verizon's special event in NYC: a CDMA-compatible version of the Apple iPhone 4 is coming to Verizon Wireless and Apple stores on February 10, 2011. Pre-ordering for existing customers will commence on February 3, 2011. Subsidized prices with a two-year service agreement will run $199 for the 16GB iPhone 4 and $299 for the 32GB model.
The Verizon iPhone 4 has a redesigned antenna, which is a CDMA optimization. Verizon employees will start getting the iPhone 4 this week, and Verizon has been working on scaling up its systems to prepare for a flood of data demand.
Remember when AT&T required that all iPhone users pay for an unlimited data plan? Now that the carrier restricts new iPhone contracts to a choice of capped data plans, Verizon Wireless will initially offer its own unlimited plan to iPhone users for $30 per month.
Although this is slightly more expensive than AT&T's 2GB DataPro plan for $25, Verizon is banking on the strength of its network to lure subscribers to a CDMA-compatible iPhone. Analysts have estimated that Apple could sell up to 12 million Verizon iPhones in the first year of release.
Radio Shack's week-long iPhone sale was such a success they've decided to offer the same prices again, this time without announcing an end date. Those who missed their opportunity to cash in on Radio Shack discounts and iPhone trade-in credit can now get the same deals.
The only problem with the successful sale is that Radio Shack moved so many units they are recommending customers call to make sure their local store has the iPhone 4 in stock.
iPhone 4 prices with a two-year contract just keep dropping, thanks to AT&T offering refurbished devices at steep discounts. For only $79, new subscribers can pick up an iPhone 4 16GB with a cosmetic blemish, while the same refurb in new condition goes for only $99.
iPhone 4 32GB models are going for $199 while the cosmetically blemished ones cost only $179. These deals save between $100 and $120 off normal prices. Even refurbished iPhone 3GS models have been slashed, with cosmetic blemish 8GB hardware going for only $19.
The unprecedented low price of $147 for a new iPhone 4 is coming to a Sam's Club near you. Following the recent expired Radio Shack promotions, Sam's club will undercut record low prices on the iPhone 4 by an additional two bucks. The iPhone 3GS will go on sale for just $47.
Radio Shack sold out of the iPhone nationwide during its sale, and Best Buy offered the iPhone 3GS for free in a one-day only sale. Here's the catch, to qualify for these low prices at Sam's Club you must be a member and sign up for a two-year service agreement with AT&T Mobility.
The question isn't if Apple's exclusive iPhone deal with AT&T Mobility will end. The question is when, and the answer looks more like early 2011 if recent comments by AT&T CFO Richard Lindner are to be believed. Speaking at the UBS Media and Communications Conference, Lindner explained simply that exclusive arrangements end.
He emphasized that regardless of this inconvenient fact, AT&T has a diversity of phones to offer consumers. Although he didn't give any details, other news this week also points to AT&T rival Verizon Wireless offering Apple a sweet deal to keep the iPhone off of Sprint and T-Mobile's networks in the US.
Looking to upgrade your phone this holiday season? Radio Shack is running a promotion on the iPhone 4 until December 11 to highlight its wireless sales. Prices have been slashed $50 for the sale, bringing the total cost of a new 16GB iPhone 4 to $149.99 with a two-year service agreement.
This deal puts the 32GB iPhone 4 at $249.99 with the same contract. The iPhone 3GS is also available for only $49.99. Radio Shack has also beefed up its Trade & Save program, which will be of special interest to those upgrading from an iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS.
US retailer Target is next in line to offer the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS in stores. The company will launch both Apple handset models in its Target Mobile section starting on November 7. Customers can get support from Target Mobile employees and activate their new device on the AT&T network in-store.
Target will initially offer the iPhone at 846 locations across the country, with most of the remaining 906 stores rolling out Target Mobile sections and iPhones at a later date. With the November 7 release date, the retailer plans to attract shoppers just in time for the holiday season.
Apple opened an online store in mainland China this week and it took only 10 hours to sell out of their entire inventory of iPhone 4 units. The country has four Apple Stores and iPhone buyers have waited in long lines since the release of the device in September. iPhone buyers were clearly enthusiastic about purchasing the phone online, although some reports have indicated many of the phones may have gone to scalpers who will resell for a profit.
iPhones have been in China for some time on the grey market, with millions imported from other countries. There's also a booming market in counterfeit and iPhone look-alike mobile devices as well. Despite this, the official product had no problem selling online or at retail stores, with over a quarter million units sold on launch day at the end of September.