Photo: Dan Frommer, Business Insider
Verizon will be getting the iPhone, the two companies announced this morning in New York.Pre-orders start February 3, with phones shipping on February 10.
Verizon was mum on contract pricing, but we’ve read reports that you can get unlimited data for $30 per month.
What’s different about Verizon? Well, according to its customers, the network is much stronger, so you might be able to make phone calls.
As for the iPhone, you’ll be able to use the iPhone as a mobile hotspot, something that’s not true of the iPhone on AT&T.
But, you won’t have the ability to talk on the phone and use the wireless data at the same time, which is something you can do with AT&T.
The big question for consumers: Is it worth it to buy a Verizon iPhone today, when the odds are pretty good iPhone 5 is coming this summer. If you really can’t wait, then go for it. If you don’t mind hanging on until Juune-July, then you should wait.
Original notes from our live blog: Welcome! We’re here at the Lincoln centre in Manhattan for Verizon’s big announcement today.
Presumably, it’s going to reveal that it will be carrying the iPhone.
The event gets under way at 11 AM and we’ll be live blogging it.
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10:55ish: John Oliver of the Daily Show jumped up and screamed “F– Yeah!” Look for that tonight…
10:59 AM ET: Program is about to begin, lights just went dim.
11 AM: COO of Verizon Lowell McAdam takes the stage.
11:01: Looks like everyone expecting a big announcement … Proof of an old adage of the press: If the press writes something long enough, and often enough, it comes true.
Why we think this is a great day for Verizon “and our partner” but for wireless carriers across the US: Just came back from CES. It was very clear that data, broadband, and video are major forces driving innovation and growth across the entire high-tech marketplace.
11:02: Users want to carry all of their content from their digital lives with them wherever they go, on any device, anytime. Verizon has a history pushing the envelope with data networks. Major investments.
11:03: Undersea cables, networks everywhere. 18 million households on FiOS. Recent tripled top speeds to 150 MB/sec, setting new standard for home broadband service.
11:04: If you promise not to print this, I’ll let you in on a little secret … With all the renaming of wireless broadband networks going on, we thought about naming this “6G” (Zinging AT&T, Referring to the 4G LTE network.)
We’re at the “hub of the wheel” of innovation right now.
11:05: (Is he just burning up 10 minutes so they can announce the iPhone at 11:11 a.m on 1/1/11? So far, this is all filler. Talking about building partnerships, etc.)
11:06: Collaboration between industry leaders is the engine for progress … (zzzzzz)
11:06: Today bringing the “Fruit of our strategic partner” and that’s Apple. (It’s official!)
11:07: And … we lost our signal … crappy wifi gets us
(Jay is taking over from the office, keeping an eye on things) Lowell is talking about how Verizon has worked with Apple since 2008.
11:09: Tim Cook is taking the stage, no Steve Jobs. The phone will be available early next month — pre-orders start Feb. 3. It’s available February 10th.
It will run on CDMA, which is 3G, not 4G LTE. It will be $199 for a 16 gig phone.
11:12: Tim Cook is talking about the millions of happy iPhone owners. Talking about the integrated experience.
11:14: Daniel Mead from Verizon is on stage talking about how Verizon has been scaling its system for the launch. It has more inventory, more employees, more everything for the big release of the iPhone. We have the capacity to handle this phone, we’re ready for launch, says Dee.
11:16: Thousands of iPhones have been tested on the Verizon network.
(And Frommer is back … so we’re super live again)
11:18: Have built margin into capacity across the network. Have been building capacity and throughput with fibre to the cell site. All of this accomplished by underlying spectrum. Even as we roll out 4G over the next 3 years, we are committed to adding capacity and building the 3G network as we go.
So now I bet you’re wondering when and what is going to happen next. On Feb. 3, existing VZW customers will have opportunity to pre-order online. On Feb. 10, it will launch to everyone at VZW everywhere. $199.99 for 16 GB, $299.99 for 32 GB with 2-year contract. Includes new 3G personal hotspot capabilities.
11:18 Wrapping up … As I close, I’d like to thank all of the people at Apple. Unprecedented collaboration in bringing the iPhone 4 to Verizon Wireless.
Now it’s a Q&A: How many iPhones can you manufacture? Tim: Not going to get into our forecast. However, we are incredibly excited to bring the iPhone experience to Verizon’s 93 million customers and to all the new customers who will want to use an iPhone 4 at Verizon. Both of us think there’s tremendous opportunity.
VZ: Nothing to add. Not going to get into detailed forecast. Both companies into quiet period because of earnings.
11:19: Is CDMA iPhone in 1-year iPhone cycle or will it be refreshed in the summer? Tim Cook: Long-standing policy on not commenting on future products.
11:21 Some people surprised this isn’t 4G LTE. Why not? Tim: One, first generation LTE chipsets force some design compromises, some of which we would not make. Secondly, and most importantly, Verizon customers have told us they want the iPhone NOW.
11:22: Vz: We have very robust idea, have been working on this for some time. We have a tremendous network in our 3G network, the best in the country, and we want to make sure that companies can take advantage of that.
11:23: Is CDMA iPHone exclusive to Verizon? Tim: Agreement is a multi-year, non-exclusive. Not commenting further on terms.
11:24: Differences to antenna? Tim: Has to be optimised for CDMA network. It’s going to do a great job with that.
Vz: Testing for a long period of time. Confident we don’t see any issues there. Collaboration going to be an outstanding customer experience.
11:24: What happens when using data connection and get a phone call? Consistent with other CDMA devices. Continue to improve infrastructure, but same experience. (Translation: You can’t use the Internet and talk at the same time.)
11:35: Is there any charge for tethering? Talked about device pricing: Not going to talk about pricing for network connectivity. Will be having announcements coming on pricing in the future. (Our guess is that will be $20/month extra, but who knows.)
11:27: Someone asks: When a 4G iPhone, any limitations? Tim Cook: Not going to comment on any unannounced products. VZ: Not commenting on pricing or pricing strategies today.
11:29: Someone asks Tim Cook what the experience is like to use the iPhone with the CDMA voice/data challenge. Tim Cook reminds that the #1 question he’s gotten, despite selling tens of millions of iPhones, is when it’s going to be available on Verizon. Worth the tradeoffs.
Wrapping up. Demos available, with people from Apple and Verizon. Thanks to Tim, looking forward to partnership. “This is the start of something big” Tim Cook says.
11:30: And that’s a wrap!
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