Verhasselt: Is the Verizon iPhone a smartphone savior?

Heath Verhasselt

We all know how the creation story as told in “Genesis” goes, but here’s a rather quick refresher regardless:

On the first day, it was, “Let there be light.” On the second and third day the sky, land and vegetation were whipped up. On the fourth day the seasons were created. On the fifth day birds and other living creatures were put on earth. On that sixth day, humans walked the earth. And of course, the almighty seventh day of rest, but this story is not yet complete.

What isn’t usually mentioned is how on the 11th day, God — err I mean Steve Jobs — delivered to us something special, something “we think you’re going to love,” something I personally thought we’d never see in our lifetimes. Yes, down from Cupertino on high, Jobs has delivered to his followers an iPhone that officially works on Verizon.

But as this proclamation of “good news” was read off — from what should have been an iPad tablet to make this analogy all the more complete — by the Verizon chief executive officer, there was, as always with something great, a catch; several of them in fact.

These exceptions were put into a list of commandments:

“Thou shalt have dropped calls.”

This first commandment, of course was the best news of all. Compared to AT&T, Verizon’s network has about 2 percent of its calls being dropped, compared to AT&T’s almost 6 percent of dropped calls. This great news, was quickly silenced by the next commandment:

“Thou shalt have LTE.”

Seriously? First some back story, every year at the beginning of January there is a technology expo called CES, the consumer electronics show. At this show all the big companies show off what they are bringing to market for the next year. Verizon, who had two press conferences I might add, talked the entire time about how wonderful their new 4G LTE network was going to be. They are promising four new smartphones, two tablets, two mobile hotspots and two laptops that will have LTE and are “coming soon.”

All of this talk about their newer and faster network, and they decide not to put LTE on this “new” addition to their lineup? Do you know why Verizon and Apple held back on the LTE iPhone? Because they knew you wouldn’t care. They knew that you’d be so happy to have an iPhone on Verizon you’d give up the ability to watch Netflix movies in HD from your phone just have the beloved iPhone. That and they can sell you an LTE iPhone at a later date.

“Thou shall sign a two year contract with Verizon.”

That’s a fairly standard deal for any smartphone, but the prepaid phone industry is a large one, and signing a two year contract for phone service is a big deal for some.

“Thou shall have a mobile hotspot for up to five devices.”

This, is a feature that although isn’t new to Verizon, is a completely new concept to iPhone users, and will be quite popular, pending the results of the following commandment:

“Thou shall pay up the wahzoo for your monthly data plan.”

Keep in mind that a plan on Verizon starts at $60 for the minimum of 450 minutes and unlimited texting. Right now data plans are $15 for 150 MB and $30 for “unlimited.” Although it’s assumed that tethering and the mobile hotspot feature will cost more, but what will stop Verizon from charging you $50 to $60 a month more for data? Computerworld estimates that after all the bells and whistles you could be paying up to $120 a month just for data, and your total bill could go up to $330 a month, although I doubt this will be the case for most, I see it being entirely possible.

And the last commandment, which is probably the most important of them all:

“Thou shall watch in pain and agony as the iPhone 5 gets released in June.”

Just as it says, we all know that this is the truth. Apple holds their World Wide Developers Conference every June and every WWDC since the phone came out in 2007 they’ve come out with a new iPhone. Why sign up for a two year contract for a phone that you know will be outdated for sure in exactly five months — the Verizon iPhone comes out in February. The most recent rumors are that the next iPhone, the iPhone 5, will be completely redesigned: it’ll have a dual core processor, making it faster than almost every smartphone on the market, and, although not confirmed, I’d really hope to see LTE/4g built in.

That being said, in technology this is always the case, and there’s always something better right around the corner — but in this case, its so close that I really think it’d be worth it to wait. Think of it this way, instead of buying your new toy/distraction this February, work your butt off this semester, get straight As, and then reward yourself this summer with an iPhone 5. Or if want to switch to an arguably better church, I hear the Church of Google Android is always recruiting.