Monday, January 10, 2011

Should You Buy Verizon's iPhone 4 if it is released 11-JAN-11?

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBaseGizmodo says no, and I would tend to agree.

Look, iPhone 4 is a very good phone, no doubt about that. It has a few problems here and there, but it's not something that will seriously affect adoption. It is a nice piece of tech, and it has that "want it now" factor that Apple products tend to possess in spades. So making it available to more people sure wouldn't hurt Apple.

However, it is not something that everybody MUST have. It is for geeks and wannabe geeks to look "cool". Android phones can do the same functions as good or better. Apps are catching up. And with over a dozen manufacturers making Android phones from the cheapest to now dual-core phones there is a full range to choose from.

Let's put it this way: iPhone 4 is a like a BMW: very nice sedans, but not for everybody. Android phones now comes in every form factor and features that basically ranges from the SmartKar to Rolls Royce and everything in between. You have old resistive screen 400x320 screen Android 1.6 phones all the way up to just announced dual-core 1 GHz CPU 1 GB RAM monster phones with LTE connectivity.

Even with phones similar to the iPhone 4 you have the Droid Incredible, Droid X, Samsung Galaxy S (various versions), plus other phones from HTC, LG, Samsung, Motorola, Sony-Ericsson, and soon, Huawei, Pantech, and other phonemakers. We can debate all day whether they are as good as iPhone or not, but they are definitely aimed at the same market segment. They are the Audis and Cadillacs as opposed to BMWs.

Furthermore, you know Apple will be coming out with iPhone 5 in June. So is there any particular reason to buy an iPhone 4 now, and be locked into a 2-year contract with Verizon? Do you really need an iPhone THIS bad?

If it has LTE, then sure, "iPhone 4G" instead of just iPhone 4, then it would be worth considering.

Pure CDMA regular 3G iphone 4? Not really.

World phone (i.e. CDMA/GSM hybrid phone)? Not really. That basically just means you *can* move it back to AT&T if you wish. Verizon won't like the idea at all, since you know hackers will jailbreak this and immediately unlock the GSM even if it's locked down at factory.

Here's MY prediction: tomorrow's phone will be iPhone 4C (for CDMA), a bit reminiscent of Apple IIc. It will NOT have LTE.

The new iPhone, i.e. iPhone 5 coming in June 2011, will be iPhone 5, and it will come in regular 5 and 5C versions, and THOSE will have more features... The GSM version will be HSPA+ compatible (i.e. will reach "4G speeds"), and the CDMA/EVDO version will be LTE compatible.

The reason for this is Apple will be later making a GSM version with LTE to be compatible with AT&T's upcoming LTE network. That'll be the Apple iPhone 5S. But that won't come until 2012, which is when AT&T says their LTE rollout will start.

Oh well, let's see what happens tomorrow.

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