Verizon iPhone 4: Six Good Reasons Not to Buy

Apple's mega-popular iPhone hits Verizon Wireless store shelves in the United States today. But before you rush out to buy a Verizon iPhone 4 of your own,'s Al Sacco says there are some things you should know.

Thu, February 10, 2011

CIO — Today is the big day; the Apple (AAPL) iPhone is finally available in the United States through a wireless carrier other than AT&T. Verizon Wireless's iPhone 4 smartphone can now be purchased in Apple Stores, Best Buys, Walmarts, and Verizon Wireless retail locations...while supplies last, of course.

Verizon Wireless Apple iPhone 4
Verizon Wireless Apple iPhone 4

But I have a few things you might want to consider before dashing out to wait in line for a Verizon iPhone 4 of your own. In fact, in most cases, I'd advise potential Verizon iPhone 4 buyers to hold off completely on buying Apple's current iPhone model. Why, you ask? Keep reading.

1) Verizon Apple iPhone 4 is "Old"

Apple released the AT&T iPhone 4 on June 24, 2010, almost eight months ago. And in the world of technology, a LOT can change in eight months' time. Unfortunately, very little has changed about the iPhone 4; the iPhone 4 model being sold by Verizon does have a different cellular radio, a slightly modified antennae design than the original AT&T iPhone 4, as well as a shifted mute button...but that's about all that's been changed.

In other words, Verizon iPhone 4 buyers really aren't getting a "new" device, at least in my opinion. And the Verizon iPhone 4 offers few to no advantages over its AT&T brethren. With the arrival of the iPhone 5 expected this coming Juneassuming Apple sticks to its past release schedule of a new iPhone each summerit would be a wise move for most folks to hold off on signing a two-year Verizon contract for the iPhone 4. The iPhone 5 will surely pack a variety of cool new features and functionality that'll leave many iPhone 4 users craving more.

2) No Simultaneous Voice/Data Transmission for Verizon iPhone 4

The Verizon Apple iPhone 4 is a 3G, CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A device, and due to limitations with the CDMA wireless technology, the device cannot simultaneously transfer voice and data over the cellular network. In other words, Verizon iPhone 4 users will not be able to make a phone call and then search for information on the Web while on a callat least when only connected to Verizon's network. This issue is not limited to the iPhone; none of Verizon's 3G CDMA devices support simultaneous voice/data transfer.

This fact may not seem like a big deal to existing Verizon users because most won't know what they're missing, but AT&T or T-Mobile 3G users switching to Verizon for the iPhone could very much miss the functionalityI certainly do when I use a Verizon smartphone. The next version of the iPhone, expected in just a few months, could very well support LTE, which would provide for simultaneous voice and data transfer, and it will almost be a "world phone" that could be used on both CDMA and GSM networks in the United States and elsewhere.

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