All posts in Verizon

Podcast #166: Verizon iPad and More Apple Patents

Verizon introduces a new iPad commercial with a pretty sweet Mi-Fi deal. So sweet that Susie’s pretty bummed about her iPad 3G.
Apple drops another patent and this time it looks like our beloved menubar is in trouble. Oh no, not the menubar!

Plus, we answered a few reader calls, and your questions from Twitter and Facebook.

This week’s Battlestar Applactica picks:

Katy Perry Revenge – .99

Fruit Ninja HD – .99

Routesy Pro Bay Area – .99

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iPad Now Available from Verizon and AT&T

Verizon iPad bundle

We told you about it earlier this month, and the day has finally arrived: The iPad is now available for sale at both Verizon Wireless (coupled with a MiFi 2200) and AT&T (where it uses the native 3G data plan).

Engadget is reporting that Thursday, October 28 has finally arrived, and with it, Apple’s iPad is wrapping up a pretty big month for the device retail-wise. After landing in both Target and Wal-mart (not to mention all of the Best Buy stores that didn’t already have it), the tablet is now available for sale at wireless carriers Verizon and AT&T.

Verizon Wireless announced earlier this month that they were taking on the iPad, but in an interesting twist, they’re selling the Wi-Fi only model bundled with one of their MiFi 2200 mobile hotspots. Verizon pricing is 9 for the 16GB model, 9 for the 32GB model and 9 for the 64GB model, and their no-contract data plans are pretty fair at for 1GB, for 3GB or for 5GB. Unfortunately, you can’t get that data plan pricing by buying the MiFi alone — it’s a special deal for iPad buyers only.

Of course, if you don’t want an extra device to carry around (even though the MiFi is impossibly small to begin with) and are looking for the “real deal” 3G-equipped model, head over to one of the AT&T retail stores and be prepared to drop the same dough for the all-in-one model.

AT&T’s U.S. data plans are the same — per month for 250MB or for 2GB. The telco is also offering international data plans for the iPad, but truthfully we don’t see them getting used by anyone with at least a modicum of common sense, especially when the four plans start at for a mere 20MB and don’t get much better when they top out at a whopping 0 for 200MB. Not to mention the fact that there are so many free hotspots all around the world now. You have been warned!

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

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Android Thriving with Verizon Shows iPhone Can Too

It could be argued that thanks to Apple’s exclusivity deal with AT&T, Android handsets became the People’s Sour-Grapes iPhone. For individuals already locked into other networks or unwilling to take on a contract with AT&T, Google’s open-source mobile OS, when paired with the right hardware makes for an excellent alternative to Cupertino’s trendsetting handset. According to some increasingly credible rumors, the American cellular landscape will be undergoing a significant change in the early months of 2011: AT&T will no longer be the only game in town in you want to get your mitts on an iOS powered smartphone, as Apple is purportedly ready to unveil a iteration of the iPhone that will function on Verizon‘s network in early 2011. Despite the fact that the iPhone’s primary competition of late has come from companies selling hardware with running one flavor of Android or another, the Cupertino-based tech company owes a debt of gratitude to Google: Without Android handsets gobbling up data like it was going out of style, Verizon wouldn’t have been able to anticipate whether or not their network in its current state could sustain the added user demand that will come with the company’s introduction of the iPhone.

Thanks guys!

In a story posted this morning, The Wall Street Journal details how after observing Android’s performance on their network, Verizon’s infrastructure geeks feel they can confidentially roll out new Apple hardware without fear of the same poor performance that was suffered by iPhone users back when the handset was first launched on the AT&T network. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Verizon’s Chief Technology Officer Tony Melone stated that he felt that if his network could sustain the data load that came with the introduction Android handsets, then Verizon would most certainly be ready to bear the impact of the iPhone arrival as well. “The Android experience gives me confidence we can engineer a great data network. We are planning for growth,” Melone said. “We build capacity, cushion and contingency.”

If nothing else, those hoping to see the iPhone on the Verizon network in the new year can take comfort in the fact that should the handset arrive, the company is at least planning ahead for it. That’s got to count for something.

 

Follow this article’s author, Seamus Bellamy on Twitter.

 


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Concurrent Data and Voice Rumors for CDMA Suggest iPhone is Coming to Verizon

As the hourglass turns, so do the days of our lives–and the influx of iPhone on Verizon rumors that flood the internet. We’re hearing reports that the forthcoming CDMA wireless standard could help encourage smartphone manufacturers, like Apple, to make handsets that work on simultaneous voice and data transmissions.

Currently, Apple is already touting this feature on the AT&T network. The possibilities excite those of us still dealing with the seemingly substandard CDMA network, but where the speculation suggests that Apple is considering bringing the iPhone to Verizon is beyond us, as this news mostly sounds like it’s something existing Verizon customers should look forward to, and not those that are merely waiting for a reason to switch. Sure, this is another reason Apple should consider Verizon to host the iPhone, but it’s not at all an indicator that it’s going to happen.

And on that note, whatever happened to the rumors about the white iPhone 4 landing in Apple Stores? Did we forget about that one, too?


Follow this article’s author, Florence Ion, on Twitter.

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Verizon: Any iPhone News Would Come From Apple

sillyrumors

(Image courtesy of techmagnews.com)

A Verizon exec addressed The Wall Street Journal story today about a Verizon iPhone by the end of the year, saying that essentially any news about any sort of a thing would have to come from Apple, not Verizon, according to AppleInsider.  Perhaps Verizon is getting tired of Verizon rumors? 

Verizon President and COO Lowell McAdam had made the comments during a press conference at the CTIA conference in San Francisco.  He was asked to comment about the above story, and was quick to dismiss it as “one of those things that rolls out ever few weeks whether there’s a basis for it or not.”

“I can’t give you any insights,” he went on.  “But I think Apple is the one that has to make that announcement.”

But on the flip side, McAdam is still holding out hopes that a deal could be reached with Apple at some point, especially with its upcoming LTE data network.

“What I’ve always said is a I expect at some point in time our business interests are going to align,” he said.  “I think things like LTE are another great reason why they’d want a device or tablet on that network.  But I don’t have anything to say today about timing.”

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter

 

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Verizon LTE Technology Coming To 38 Cities

lte

(Image courtesy of wwwery.com)

Regardless if we see the iPhone on Verizon’s network or not, one can’t help but drool just a tad at the 5 to 12Mbps down and 2 to 5Mbps up that Verizon’s upcoming LTE can offer by year’s end.  We can only help but wonder how our iPhones might be perform on a network like that.  Lest we forget though too, that AT&T’s version is right around the corner next year.  At any rate, for our Verizon users, 4G is coming to a cell tower near you.  Only, if you live in a certain 38 cities though, such as:

Akron, Ohio
Athens, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia
Baltimore, Maryland
Boston, Massachusetts
Charlotte, North Carolina
Chicago, Illinois
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Dallas, Texas
Denver, Colorado
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Houston, Texas
Jacksonville, Florida
Las Vegas, Nevada
Los Angeles, California
Miami, Florida
Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
Nashville, Tennessee
New Orleans, Louisiana
New York, New York
Oakland, California
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Orlando, Florida
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Phoenix, Arizona
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Rochester, New York
San Antonio, Texas
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
San Jose, California
Seattle/Tacoma, Washington
St. Louis, Missouri
Tampa, Florida
Washington, D.C.
West Lafayette, Indiana
West Palm Beach, Florida

And for our traveling folks, you can expect see it coming to these airports to start:

Austin-Bergstrom International, Austin, Texas
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshal, Glen Burnie, Maryland
Bob Hope, Burbank, California
Boeing Field/King County International, Seattle, Washington
Charlotte/Douglas International, Charlotte, North Carolina
Chicago Midway International, Chicago, Illinois
Chicago O’Hare International, Chicago, Illinois
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, Covington, Kentucky
Cleveland-Hopkins International, Cleveland, Ohio
Dallas Love Field, Dallas, Texas
Dallas/Fort Worth International, Fort Worth, Texas
Denver International, Denver, Colorado
Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
George Bush Intercontinental/Houston, Houston, Texas
Greater Rochester International, Rochester, New York
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Atlanta, Georgia
Honolulu International, Honolulu, Hawaii
Jacksonville International, Jacksonville, Florida
John F. Kennedy International, New York, New York
John Wayne Airport-Orange County, Santa Ana, California
Kansas City International, Kansas City, Missouri
La Guardia, New York, New York
Lambert-St. Louis International, St. Louis, Missouri
Laurence G. Hanscom Field, Bedford, Massachusetts
Long Beach/Daugherty Field, Long Beach, California
Los Angeles International, Los Angeles, California
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International, Metairie, Louisiana
McCarran International, Las Vegas, Nevada
Memphis International, Memphis, Tennessee
Metropolitan Oakland International, Oakland, California
Miami International, Miami, Florida
Minneapolis-St. Paul International/Wold-Chamberlain, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Nashville International, Nashville, Tennessee
New Castle, Wilmington, North Carolina
Newark Liberty International, Newark, New Jersey
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International, San Jose, California
North Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada
Orlando International, Orlando, Florida
Orlando Sanford International, Sanford, Florida
Palm Beach International, West Palm Beach, Florida
Philadelphia International, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Phoenix Sky Harbor International, Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway, Mesa, Arizona
Pittsburgh International, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Port Columbus International, Columbus, Ohio
Portland International, Portland, Oregon
Rickenbacker International, Columbus, Ohio
Ronald Reagan Washington National, Arlington, Virginia
Sacramento International, Sacramento, California
Salt Lake City International, Salt Lake City, Utah
San Antonio International, San Antonio, Texas
San Diego International, San Diego, California
San Francisco International, San Francisco, California
Seattle-Tacoma International, Seattle, Washington
St. Augustine, Saint Augustine, Florida
St. Petersburg-Clearwater International, Clearwater, Florida
Tampa International, Tampa, Florida
Teterboro, Teterboro, New Jersey
Trenton Mercer, Trenton, New Jersey
Washington Dulles International, Dulles International Airport, Washington, D.C.
Will Rogers World, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
William P. Hobby, Houston, Texas

via Gizmodo

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter

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Why the Verizon App Store Could Save Android Without Hurting iTunes

I’ve been a Verizon customer for ten years now, since before you could purchase a monthly texting plan and unlimited minutes. I was with the company when they switched from black-and-green cell phone displays to color ones, and when Motorola was still considered one of the top tier mobile handset manufacturers. I remember my first phone with a color display–the Motorola T720i–and marveling at the phone’s texting and mobile web capabilities (back then, it only cost a month to get on Mobile Web). But then, as the phones became more colorful, and might I add “smarter”, Verizon introduced its own app store of sorts, called Get It Now. 

This “app store” was chock full of downloadable ringtones and instant messaging software, and games from well-known publishers like EA. It also introduced the idea of paying for specific software for your mobile phone that could enable your little device to do more than you thought it was capable of. At the time, it was a great idea to put this kind of expandability on a phone–the kind of handsets that we would refer to now as “dumb” phones. But as the cell phone market grew–and when Apple stormed the market with its very own app-enabled phone, the iPhone–Verizon had to up the ante a bit. When it introduced Android phones into its handset family late last year, those of us holding out were pleased to hear that our loyalty was honored with an operating system that was open source and an app store that wasn’t as closed as Apple’s.

But we were soon disappointed when we realized that Verizon hasn’t changed its ways. If you’re an avid listener of our weekly podcast, you might already know that I’m an Android user myself, and am smitten with the hardware performance of my HTC Incredible, call quality included. But while the cell service hasn’t let me down, the news that Verizon is planning on force feeding its own app store on its smartphone users rubbed me the wrong way at first. Why does there need to be two app stores on my phone? I’m fine with the Android marketplace and I know how to navigate it so that I stay out of trouble. Why do I have to have this extra icon in my app list when I’m not even going to use this thing? 

What didn’t occur to me is that I’m not really the typical Verizon customer. It’s my job to know these app stores from left to right, but there are a ton of Verizon users out there who are just entering the smart phone market. The minute they step into the Android Market, things get pretty shady. It’s like picking up furniture from off the street–you never know if you’re bringing home bed bugs or some other sort of nasty critters. And then if you place that nasty couch in your home, the bed bugs spread everywhere, and pretty soon you’re writhing on the floor, desperately trying to scratch the itch. In Android’s case, you never know if you’re downloading an app that’s hiding something malicious, and you might even come across something that could actually do some everlasting damage to your phone. 

Let me tell you from firsthand experience, the idea that you may have “bricked” your phone because of software will bring you to tears. I’ve always appreciated the fact that Apple requires you to sync your iPhone with iTunes because if things go bad, you always have a backup waiting for you on your hard drive. But in my case, if my phone goes kaput, all I’ve got are my contacts and recent calls saved in Google’s cloud–my apps are all gone. To add insult to injury, there is no Android Marketplace account that keeps track of the apps you purchase because developers use Google Checkout. So without the iTunes backbone, I am virtually alone in this ever expanding marketplace, and I can’t even tether the thing for free. 

So this is where the Verizon app store could actually save Android because it can offer a regulated marketplace where the transactions are actually accounted for. No longer will Verizon Android users purchase apps from unknown developers. Instead, Verizon will make sure that these apps are fit for the phones they’re selling, and account for the cash passed between developer and consumer. The Verizon app store would only work on handsets stocked with Android 2.2, but it would be a great entry point for new smartphone users who are terribly afraid of contracting a virus on their pricey handsets. I wouldn’t put it past Verizon to overcharge for these applications, anyway, but at least they could be trusted. And like Apple’s App Store, that means that someone would be looking to make sure that the apps in the store aren’t completely a waste of time–if you thought Apple had a problem with Fart apps, you haven’t seen the myriad of lame soundboards and “skins” that are infiltrating the Android Marketplace. By comparison, the Apple apps that are approved are better because there is someone on the other side saying, “We have enough of these silly apps. Let’s try some other kind of silly app from now on.” There’s no one to do that for Android, and I am not at all amused with the variety of Peter Griffin soundboard apps available right now. 

There is one major problem I foresee from a Verizon app store, however. Currently, there’s a Verizon apps section in the Android Market, called Vcast Apps. The page includes suggestions from Verizon of Android apps that you might want to download–like Skype, the official Twitter app, and Layar–and a few of Verizon’s own proprietary applications that were annoyingly installed on my Incredible when I updated to Froyo. One of these apps includes Verizon’s own navigation app, which I’m too afraid to even start up lest I incur an extra charge on my already expensive monthly bill. On the older Verizon phones, navigation was also available, which makes sense if you’re stuck with a sort of “regular” phone (as I like to call it these days) and want to opt in for that feature. But for a platform like Android that already comes with a very powerful navigation system (with turn-by-turn directions, even), why bothering offering another?

Well, I’d wager that it’s because Verizon wants to make money off of consumers that don’t know any better. It’s an extra for Verizon’s navigation application to work; Google Maps is free with any data plan. I think Verizon is afraid of losing its monopoly in this open Android market and not being able to profit from it. It’s not necessarily that the app doesn’t work as well or that it is any better than what’s offered for free, it’s that Verizon wants you to pay them so that they can have a little more control over your phone. 

Android is an open platform and I doubt Google will ever bother to fight with carriers because of its open nature. They probably just care about getting their software on as many devices as possible. Great for them, but bad for the average consumer, who may not be aware that based on their carrier they may not be getting a very “open” market place after all. This is why I prefer Apple’s infrastructure. They’ve got a piece of software in iTunes that, even with its flaws, keeps your phone tied to your computer so that your data is never lost. And, their regulated App Store means that I don’t have to sift through pages of crap apps looking for what I want. Apple is smart enough to offer up the right kind of competition by allowing in more than one type of app, so even if there are a variety of flashlight apps to choose from, they all offer something a bit different. With Android, it’s the carriers that have control–essentially, The Man–and with the iPhone, your App Store is run by Jolly Ol’ Father Apple (Um, Steve?). 

Verizon obviously wants the iPhone to steal AT&T customers away, and they know that this is only slightly possible because they, purportedly, have better service (this is all depending on your coverage area, but roll with us here). You can bet that Apple won’t be lenient about letting Verizon tromp over its App S
tore the way it has with Google’s Android Marketplace. Just like with AT&T, Apple will play hardball. But, this is a good thing. It’s not that we can’t expect Verizon will have these exact same apps in the App Store if Apple does release a CDMA iPhone (all of which will undergo their own arduous App Store approval process), but it means that Verizon will have to figure out a way to move away from their old habits and become accustomed to the new reality of app marketplaces.

If Verizon moves away from this model, then it will be easier for the carrier to compete in the smartphone war. After all, who would consider switching to Verizon if it meant that their iPhone was going to be filled with proprietary apps? All they care for are the ones that Apple gives them. If the CDMA iPhone stays the same as its predecessor, then Apple fans will have more of a reason to head to another carrier because it will be just the same as AT&T’s. And Verizon loyalists will jump for joy because finally, their carrier isn’t offering a phone that’s bloated with proprietary apps.

So tell us, readers. How would you feel if Verizon put in their own proprietary apps on your iPhone? Would you still be inclined to switch carriers? Do you still think a CDMA iPhone is even in the cards at this point?

Follow this article’s author, Florence Ion, on Twitter.

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