Wow, the iPhone phenomenon and iOS will be turning 4 in July. That's right, the original iPhone came out in July of 2007, and it took that long for the latest model to make it to Verizon's network. I have nothing but respect for Verizon's network, and most recently, I've been thrilled with their 4G LTE network I've been testing via the LG VL600 USB modem that saved my derriere at CES Las Vegas 2011 when AT&T as usual crumbled under the load of too many iPhones on its network and the press WiFi network crawled.
When 100,000 visiting iPhones aren't overcrowding AT&T's network, their service has been solid in the DFW area where I work, so I'm not complaining too much. When I travel on business they've always given me solid coverage and decent data speeds that tend to be a bit faster than Verizon's EV-DO Rev. A 3G. West of the Mississippi, AT&T is solid, while Verizon still seems to rule the east coast (note, I've never had a problem with AT&T in NY and MA, but I know some of you have). I'd love to see speeds as fast as T-Mobile's HSPA+ (AT&T claims they've got the US blanketed in HSPA+ but I've yet to see the speeds in areas I work in and visit), but AT&T tends to have more solid coverage in less urban areas.
If Verizon had an LTE 4G iPhone I might be tempted. Heck, if AT&T had one, I'd be tempted. I do have an AT&T line, but I don't use it with an iPhone. I've gotten bored with iOS and Apple's usual strategy of entering the market with a wonderful new piece of technology, only to evolve it too slowly. The other folks catch up, and Apple loses their clear lead. I'm afraid that's what's happening with Android and soon Windows Phone 7. That's why I'm using the Samsung Nexus S on T-Mobile and a Samsung Focus on AT&T--these are hot and quickly evolving platforms that get the job done, keep me interested and productive. I confess I love the larger Super AMOLED displays too.
Now I admit I have the latest generation iPod Touch because I'm addicted to iOS games and I need to test various iOS apps for my job. My Senior Editor is still joined at the hip to her iPhone 4, as she was to all the previous models. It's still a wonderful platform, and it's much easier for novices to grasp than Android. But Windows Phone 7 is also very newbie-friendly--again, watch out, Apple. It's still hard to beat iOS for gaming and integration with the seemingly ubiquitous iTunes desktop software and store. Microsoft's Zune and XBOX on Windows Phone 7 don't have nearly the popular mindshare yet.
Were I to get a line with Verizon, it would be for a high end Android phone: Verizon simply rules the air with their selection of Droid phones. They beat AT&T's weak Android offerings as a whole, and certainly give Sprint and T-Mobile a run since those two carriers focus more on entry to mid-range Android phones (yes, Sprint and T-Mobile do a have a few truly impressive high end handsets too, just not as many as Verizon).
But I know many of you are wedded to Verizon and you've waited patiently all these years for your turn to finally get an iPhone. My question is after nearly 4 years, how many of you are still hot for Apple's one and only smartphone? Have you gotten too cozy with your Droid to switch? Perhaps more of a threat to AT&T are you existing iPhone owners who've never been happy with their service. Me? I'm waiting for the Samsung Infuse and Motorola Atrix on AT&T and the HTC Thunderbolt on Verizon.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview