When the Verizon iPhone 4 was announced last week in New York City, I was excited. Honestly more excited than I thought I would be. Even more honestly I didn’t even think I would be excited.
You see, I’m an AT&T customer. I switched over from T-Mobile in 2008 simply so that I could have the iPhone 3G in all of its plastic-backed goodness (let that be a badge of my true nerdiness.) I’ve been happy with their service and don’t shout with the supposed masses of dropped calls and lack of coverage. I have however, heard the cries of my fellow mobile users wondering why the “greatest phone” isn’t on the “greatest network.” I’ve had friends get an Android phone on the Verizon network that they admit was cool, but nod in my direction saying, “but it’s not an iPhone.”
Today we can both rejoice. They can get the phone that the world seems to know, love, and pine after while I can get one thing: good ol’ fashioned American competition. Since January 2007 when the iPhone was announced, it has been exclusive to AT&T and thus, privy to all of their whims and restrictions. Now, don’t get my wrong. I said I liked AT&T’s coverage and reliability, not necessarily their pricing and options. I hope with Verizon now touting the iPhone, AT&T is shaking in their boots and ready to play ball.
Let’s not forget though, Verizon is certainly no discount carrier. However, in an effort to win over as many customers as possible, including AT&T defectors, I think it is safe to say they will do what they can to compete with AT&T on both pricing and options. Even though monthly service pricing for the Verizon iPhone has not been announced yet, the first shot across the bow comes from Verizon’s cannon in the form of a personal 3G hotspot. Basically, users can use their Verizon iPhone’s to wirelessly tether up to 5 devices, including laptops, iPads, etc.. Mobile internet not just on your phone, on the go.
Currently AT&T offers tethering with the iPhone, but this is limited to granting internet access to one device. A personal 3G hotspot would certainly make the Verizon iPhone more appealing to the fence sitter, especially if the pricing was even just slightly cheaper than AT&T.
There is hope for AT&T though. The personal hotspot seems to be an iPhone software update, meaning this great service could come to them as well. If both had this arrow in their quiver, there would be hope that each would begin slicing off their prices while we all watched in delight. C’mon Verizon and AT&T, let the cutting begin…