Verizon iPhone launched today, AT&T fights back

Gravity Jack In the Press

After being rumored for years,Verizon’s iPhone is now one step closer to consumers. And early reviews signal that the device is indeed worth the wait. FYI your friendly neighborhood Jack will be switching to Verizon. As a side note iPhone developers like us are getting a HUGE boost because our market almost just doubled overnight.
Verizon last night opened the floodgates to pre-orders from existing customers. Consumers can claim their iPhone 4 via Verizon’s online store, or through Apple’s web store. Verizon is giving its loyal users a head start to the masses, and in particular users who desperately want to leave AT&T, by offering them pre-orders for a full week before new users get their shot on February 10.
Reviews are also beginning to roll in for the device, with the likes of the New York Time’s David Pogue, and the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg, praising its call quality and miraculous inability to drop calls on a dime. Otherwise, the Verizon iPhone is pretty much the same as its AT&T counterpart. Reviewers point out that data speeds on the Verizon device are indeed slower than AT&T’s, but speeds are also on the whole more consistent, and reception more readily available.
The Verizon iPhone also sports mobile hotspot capabilities out of the box, which will let users share the device’s internet connection with up to 5 other wireless devices for $20 a month. AT&T users won’t have to wait too much longer for the feature though. According to Mossberg’s review, its hotspot capabilities will be enabled on February 13, following the release of verizon 4.3 of the iPhone OS.
In anticipation of heavy data usage from iPhone users, Verizon today will also begin throttling the speeds of its heaviest data use
AT&T isn’t just sitting back and letting the Verizon iPhone get all the buzz surrounding mobile hotspots.
The carrier is finally offering mobile hotspot capabilities to let multiple wireless devices share mobile broadband connections, starting on February 13 with the launch of the HTC Inspire 4G. Additionally, AT&T is adding more data to its tethering plan (which iPhone users can take advantage of).
AT&T’s Mobile Hotspot will be bundled with the company’s high-end Data Pro plan for $45 a month ($20 more than Data Pro on its own). The carrier will also add an extra 2 gigabytes of mobile data on top of the 2GB that the Data Pro plan comes with. The total 4GB of data will apply to the iPhone and any devices connected to it via the mobile hotspot. Overage costs will be $10 per gigabyte.
Since AT&T is offering more data to hotspot users, it’s also adding another 2GB of data to existing users of its tethering plan. Currently, tethering users, including those on the iPhone, pay $20 a month to share their mobile data with a single device, but AT&T doesn’t offer them any additional monthly data. Now tethering users will be less worried about running out of their 2GB data pool.
It’s also rumored that the iPhone will get access to AT&T’s mobile hotspot application on February 13, although that hasn’t been confirmed yet. The hotspot feature will make its way to all iPhones with the release of iOS 4.3 in the coming weeks, but it will be left up to carriers to activate it.
Via VentureBeat


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