Rumors of a Verizon iPhone have been circulating for years. Even though none have materialized, the news ticker on our TV today showed that the mainstream media has picked up the topic…again. This new surge of rumors seems no more likely than previous batches. I suspect they are fueled only by wishful thinking, which I can’t completely relate to.
I may be in the minority, but I don’t want a Verizon iPhone.
You see, I cheered when Apple chose AT&T for the iPhone. I had been a Verizon customer and was happy to leave. Why? Let’s not forget some of these things:
- Verizon is the company that has removed Bluetooth features from phones. They disabled syncing and file transfer so they could limit photo transfers to over the air where they could charge for each one.
- Verizon also blocked GPS features so 3rd party software or Web apps couldn’t compete with their VZ Navigator and monthly fee. Although they were forced to enable GPS features through a class action lawsuit, the important aGPS data still remains locked for all but VZ Navigator.
- Verizon has blocked transferring ringtones to your phone unless you purchased them through Verizon.
- Verizon is the company famous for lousy customer service and quietly renewing your contract every time you make any little change to your service.
- Verizon’s CEO is known for making boneheaded and customer-unfriendly statements.
- Verizon advertised unlimited data plans with no disclaimer then canceled customer’s accounts without warning for using too much. They were eventually forced to add an asterisk and fine print to their advertising.
- Verizon has a habit of selling personal customer data.
- Verizon has charged customers usage minutes for browsing Verizon’s own Get it Now store.
Now I don’t know how many of these practices still stand today, but they were all in place when I got my iPhone. I always felt like I was fighting my service provider to do the things that seemed natural to do.
Apple changed the game with the iPhone by requiring these kinds of features to just work as part of the package. Photos, ringtones, Web surfing, GPS, music, movies, etc. all work and sync as you would expect. AT&T was willing to play by the new rules and that has spurred the innovation we have today.
Sure, AT&T has experienced growing pains with the influx of iPhone customers. Any network would.
Cell coverage really depends on where you happen to be. It sometimes flip flops between which carrier has the best signal in particular locations, but most of the time I notice all carriers having some of the same trouble spots.
We do have a few areas around here where Verizon coverage is marginally better. But my AT&T coverage is good too and has improved immensely over the last couple years even though I’m not in a major city. We have 3G all over the area and I know AT&T has added towers, replaced antennas, and tuned signal directions. I’ve also seen them change to lower frequencies in some areas to better penetrate through trees and buildings.
The bottom line is that my iPhone has changed the way I do things for the better and the Apple / AT&T partnership has contributed to that experience. My shiny new iPhone 4 is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. It requires renewing my contract for a couple more years and I’m happy to do so.