Thousands of Verizon peeps are starting to feel the joy that only AT&T folks (or jailbroken devices) could feel with the usage of one of the most revolutionary cellular devices - nay - not just a cellular device, but an evolution from cell to computer device - the iPhone.
In 2007, I stood for 3 1/2 hours to be one fo the first people to purchase the iPhone (now called the iPhone 2g) device and I cannot tell you how that device has helped me out over the years. Whether that help has come in the form of entertainment, assistance in a crisis, or educating me to the different options/possibilities open to me - it has transcended and exceeded all of my expectations.
I drove that iPhone into the dirt (literally) until I deemed it was not able to keep up with me any longer and then I purchased the 3G - for the record, the 2G phone was great - I dropped it several times, cracked the corner of the screen and broke the vibrate function (which I need when the phone is on silent). The 3G was also amazing. No problems whatsoever. I currently use the iPhone 4 and have run into some shortcomings with that device, but the technological advancement of the device outways the mediocre to poor AT&T voice service and the external antenna issue (yes, Apple, there is a hardware issue).
Now we have a choice to select a Verizon or AT&T based iPhone. What does that mean exactly. I have heard mixed reports and from both camps touting why their iPhone is still the one to purchase. On the one hand, I do like the voice plans from AT&T - the roll over minutes are very important to a lot of people. It allows me to bank some minutes to use in the future if I have too. The network coverage, where I live in South San Jose, seems to be fairly strong on the AT&T network and a little on the weak side for Verizon, but I think that is because I am on the other side of a large hill.
The AT&T data network has had a lot of issues in the past, but I haven't really experienced anything and try to use WiFi when I can. My 12 MB Comcast line is a lot faster than the best 3G speed can be right now. When I am on 3G, I like the fact that I can work (surf, download, etc.) while still communicating - that is a key multi-tasking win for AT&T in my book.
With the Verizon data network, while it has good bandwidth and connectivity (and does not suffer the 3 years of iPhone data usage that AT&T is experiencing = not saturated at all), it does not allow you to use DATA and VOICE at the same time. I asked a friend of mine if that was a problem for him on his Android based phone on Verizon - he said no. I am guessing it will be a hit or miss issue with some people.
I have also heard conflicting reports on the speed of the various networks - a NY Times journalist (on KGO810AM) reported that the Verizon phone blew away the AT&T in terms of VOICE (expected outcome for me) and DATA (not the expected outcome).
I suspect that as some older iPhone people make a transition from AT&T to Verizon, there might be less saturation on the AT&T data network, and more-so on the Verizon. Does that mean that Verizon will see the explosive growth/issues that AT&T did? I don't think so. I think they are prepared and ready.
What I would like to see?
I would like to see the SPRINT - All-You-Can-Use Voice and Data plan for $99/month on the Verizon and AT&T networks - come on - it is such a rip off that each company still does not give you unlimited plans unless you pay through the nose - but not enough people are jumping ship to Sprint to force the altering of Verizon and AT&T's draconian pricing plans.
I would have liked to see a 4G modem in the new iPhone for Verizon. Why not? What was the failure there? Sad - you had all this time and effort and you couldn't fit in the 4G modem? That is a failure - I don't want to wait until the iPhone 5 to see this.
I would also like to see the Mobile Hotspot functionality that Verizon employs to be on the AT&T side of things (although I do hear this is in the works for the iOS 4.3 revision... we'll see).
Anyway - the iPhone is a evolutionary step forward and Apple remains at the forefront of this budding market. If you don't have one and are still using an old PDA or flip phone... you cannot go wrong with the iPhone - give it a shot.