Will Verizon CDMA Cripple Apple iPhone?
Currently, CDMA does not allow Android and BlackBerry phones to use voice and data simultaneously on Verizon 3G. Will Verizon CDMA cripple iPhone service the same way?
iPhone on AT&T: Concurrent Data + Voice Use, Since 2008
Since 2008, iPhone users have been enjoying simultaneous voice (phone calls) and web surfing (google search, navigation, etc.) on AT&T’s GSM network. On the iPhone, you can talk, and still look up information with the Mobile Safari browser, Google Maps, etc.
Not so with Verizon.
At this time in 2011, 2.5 years later, Verizon devices still suffer from an inability to multitask while on a phone call. Verizon’s Android, BlackBerry, and other iPhone knockoffs are still reliably crippled under the Verizon CDMA mobile network limit of no voice + data.
Verizon: Data + Voice Important in “Fringe Cases”
In October 2010 Verizon executive Brian Higgins responded to The Wall Street Journal on the problem that “Verizon customers aren’t able to surf the Web or exchange email while they’re talking on their phone.” Higgins tries to downplay Verizon’s deficiency by claiming simultaneous data + voice is only important in “fringe cases.”
“When it comes to the smartphones, it’s a big deal,” said AT&T executive Dave Wolter. iPhone power users would agree with AT&T.
The new Apple iPhone 4 on Verizon might come with another “This changes everything” moment though. There’s a new CDMA standard that allows simultaneous data and voice. The new technology is expected to be commercially available in “first half” of 2011, described Brad Shewmake, spokesman for the CDMA Development Group, an industry organization. But NO Verizon phones has the technology at this time.
If the voice + data limit is still the case when the Verizon iPhone is announced tomorrow, then it might be an important barrier to entry to knowledgeable iPhone users. Do you think Apple pushed Verizon to add simultaneous data & voice for the Verizon iPhone, something that iPhone fans have been enjoying for over 2.5 years?
Verizon iPhone: Expectations
Here’s what the OP Editor speculates: The Apple smartphone might become the first to offer concurrent voice + data use on Verizon, continuing iPhone’s technical lead over iPhone-wanna-BEE devices (aka Android).
Can Verizon Handle the Traffic?
Would allowing the iPhone to actually call and use data at the same time melt down Verizon’s network?
AT&T experienced 50-fold increase in traffic within two years after getting the iPhone. The question is, can Verizon handle 50 times the network traffic? To make matters worse, it takes three years to get a new cell phone tower approved in city such as San Francisco.
Do you think Verizon is prepared for this influx and already has 98% of their network idle (waste of money), or merely hopes it can build that much more capacity? Yes, people like better reception, but the same people often greet the possibility of new cell phone towers with “not in my backyard.”
Other CDMA problems
Other CDMA problems include:
Devices are locked to the cellular carrier. With 90% of the globe using GSM (AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.) standard Verizon or Sprint phones suffers from the inability to unlock a CDMA phone.
Wall Street Journal: “CDMA devices also tend to chew through battery life faster.” Would this be a problem for the highly demanding iPhone customers? Would Apple solve this CDMA problem? Only time will tell.
Verizon Hidden Fees
P.S. Apple got AT&T to add Visual Voice Mail for iPhone for free. Verizon later copies the popular iPhone feature, but charges monthly fee for visual voice mail.
OP Editor believes Verizon is likely to still impose additional fees and add payware on Android and non-Apple phones, but Verizon iPhone might have none of that (because Steve Jobs would not let the wireless carrier clutter up the iPhone). We’ll see whether that’s true tomorrow.
Top image, “Verizon Cripples iPhone” © by OP Editor. Use requires do follow link here.