With the release of the 4G LTE iPad an LTE iPhone seems imminent, and new iPad owners are quickly learning about the pitfalls of fast wireless connections. The Wall Street Journal published a report about the responsibility that comes with 4G connectivity by profiling one man who blew through 2GB of his Verizon data plan while watching March Madness games.
"Two hours of college basketball—which he viewed mounted to his car dashboard and live at tournament games—had burned through his monthly wireless data allotment of two gigabytes. Now, to keep surfing the Web or watch more NCAA hoops over Verizon Wireless's 4G network, Mr. Wells will have to pay an extra $10 for every gigabyte above his current $30 subscription."
The newest iPhone rumor has nothing to do with tear drops or the number 5. Instead the latest suggests Apple will finally be joining the 4G LTE club with its newest handset next year. According to DigiTimes, 2012 is going to be the year of 4G LTE. Sprint plans to launch 15 LTE capable devices next year, and Nokia, Apple, RIM and Sony are expected to jump aboard the LTE bandwagon soon.
Apple isn't known for being "cutting edge" when adopting new technologies, but with so many 4G LTE devices available right now, Apple fans are growing tired of waiting. However, the technology is still young, and Apple is probably waiting for all three major U.S. networks to expand their coverage before deciding if it's worth making the leap or not. Verizon plans to have 175 markets nailed down by the end of this year, and Sprint plans to cover 260 markets by 2013.
We've heard it all before, Apple is adding T-Mobile and Sprint to its roster of iPhone carriers, but Piper Jaffray analyst Chris Larsen and analyst Shing Yin of Citadel Securities believe 2011 is the year Apple will actually make the move.
Most analysts seem to agree that if Apple wants to compete with the growing Android Market, they will have to make their products more accessible. The days of Apple exclusivity are over, and Larsen's crystal ball says the iPhone being offered by all four national carriers will increase Apple's market share by 30 percent.
"While we remain uncertain regarding the next-generation iPhone's specs and features, we believe the most noteworthy change could be the device's ability to run on more networks, specifically Sprint and T-Mobile in the U.S.," Larsen wrote in his analyst report.
Verizon spokeswoman Debra Lewis told Apple Insider that new smartphone customers will no longer be offered unlimited data plans starting Thursday, July 7.
New mobile customers will be able to enroll in Verizon's "usage-based" billing program. Current Verizon customers will not be affected by the change, and upgrade-eligible customers will be able to move to a new mobile device while retaining their plans.
"We have lots of different ways for customers who may not be accustomed to this kind of stuff to check their usage in terms of data alerts, online tools, data calculators, things like that to help people decide what is the right plan for them," Lewis said.
Apple Insider reports that new customers, or current customers without a data plan, will have four options for "different capped monthly data plans: $10 for 75MB, $30 for 2GB, $50 for 5GB, and $80 for 10GB." Customers who exceed their capped plan will be charged $10 per gigabyte or $10 per 75MB on the entry-level plan.
Starting July 17 new iPhones or upgraded iPhones will be eligible for AT&T's standard mobile insurance plan.
The company replaced its previous iPhone insurance plan with the regular $4.99 monthly Mobile Insurance program which covers loss, theft, accidental damage and mechanical or electrical failure.
All model iPhones can enroll within 30 days of a new activation or upgrade after July 17.
AT&T's new plan is much cheaper than Verizon Wireless who offers a $10.99 monthly plan for iPhone devices. The Verizon deductible runs $169 for the 16GB model and $199 for the 32GB model. AT&T's non-refundable deductible is only $50 or $125 per approved claim, but only two claims are allowed every 12-months.
Now that the Verizon Wireless iPhone 4 has hit the streets, people have started taking it apart to see what makes the device tick. iFixyouri performed a teardown and reveals that the latest Apple handset is shipping with the Qualcomm Gobi MDM6600 dual-mode 3G modem. Currently the chip is only being used for Verizon's CDMA network, as GSM functionality requires a SIM card.
Rumors were flying ahead of the Verizon iPhone 4 release that Apple would launch a hybrid device capable of operating on a variety of networks. Now analysts expect the iPhone 5 and iPad 2 will also use the Qualcomm chip, designed to work on both AT&T and Verizon 3G networks as well as networks around the globe.
Speculation that Verizon would offer new iPhone owners an unlimited data plan has been confirmed. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Verizon's COO, Lowell McAdam, has confirmed Verizon's plan to offer iPhone customers unlimited data for $30 per month. McAdam stated plainly that he wasn't going to "shoot [himself] in the foot" by putting up a roadblock to customers wanting to switch from AT&T. This was reported a few weeks ago, as well but has only now been officially confirmed by Verizon.
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.