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“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow…

… Creeps in this petty pace from day to day….” William Shakespeare, “MacBeth” Act V, Scene V

But not TOMORROW…! :-)

Tomorrow, 1/11/11, at 11 AM (more importantly, :-) 8 AM U.S. Pacific Time) Verizon has a special event scheduled in New York City. The event is rumored to be the much-awaited announcement of iPhone on Verizon. iPhone has the highest customer satisfaction, by a large margin, among smartphone devices. Apple has sold 70 million iPhones since the launch in 2007.

The Wall Street Journal, citing an anonymous source “familiar with the matter,” confirmed this rumor late Friday.

The announcement would end AT&T’s four-year honeymoon as the iPhone’s exclusive carrier in the U.S. (I IMAGINE that it did not always SEEM like a honeymoon to AT&T, but the money was good!)

CNNMoney reports that a Verizon iPhone will not be a total disaster (“doomsday” was their word :-) ) for AT&T, and I agree that the damage will be restricted by some “offers” made by AT&T to less-than-savvy customers (involving new two-year contracts :-) “such a deal!”) and by some odious (IMHO) early termination fees enacted last year. We shall see if off-loading some “bandwidth hogs” :-) to Verizon improves AT&T’s Consumer Reports rating as “worst carrier.” I have my doubts.

CNNMoney has an article self-importantly entitled, “Verizon iPhone: The big questions.” You may have a few questions of your OWN! CNET, on the other hand, presents an article entitled, “What the Verizon phone means for Apple.”

One of MY questions that CNNMoney did not ask was, “In the last few days, AT&T has been announcing smartphone family plans at reduced rates. (No, I did not read the “fine print,” since I am not going to “bite,” anyway!) Will Verizon offer such plans to compete?” Oops! I said it! The dreaded “C” word: “compete.” Theoretically, :-) that is what capitalism is supposed to be about – competition in the marketplace leading to better products and better deals for customers. In practice, you usually don’t see it, particularly with entities as large and government-integrated as telecommunications companies.

I have waited FOUR YEARS, (and this is HARD, for a “technogeek” like myself :-) ) since the iPhone’s debut at MacWorld Expo San Francisco (yes, I was in Moscone Center that day) for an iPhone to be released on a network other than AT&T’s.

Tomorrow, I will know whether my own personal wait is over, or not.

(Note added January 11, 2011: Oh, we are an all-Verizon home for wireless since March 2010, and we dumped our last two AT&T land lines at that time. There is also a report from yesterday that Verizon plans to keep an “unlimited data” option. Good. I don’t know the rationale that other customers have for their feelings about unlimited data, but here is mine. Wireless represents a HUGE invasion of privacy in my life (both location tracking and capability for remote activation of microphone – and data storage and mining after the fact), for which I PAY handsomely. Cellular phone bills represent a significant expenditure each month. In addition, there are media reports of customers who have been “sandbagged” with HUGE overage charges, in the thousands of dollars. I believe that many customers are not “conditioned” to unlimited data – they merely want the peace of mind to be able to use their expensive device on their expensive carrier that invades their privacy without the fear of being socked with HUGE and unpredictable overage fees that destroy their budget. I think that “unlimited data” is a fair trade for the costs and sacrifices in privacy endured by customers. Besides, telecommunication companies would likely NEVER have upgraded their networks without the impetus of a device like iPhone in the hands of atypical users [the “REST of us”]. :-) Look at the OS and wireless device choices made by corporations.)

(Note added January 11, 2011, 0808 PST: I am watching CNET’s streaming chat. Verizon’s PR team nixed the streaming video  [someday, major corporations might “catch on,” but it is not likely with the personality types at the helms of most]. I have to agree with one early commenter from the audience:
“IanBarbo:  Come on, McAdam, cut to the chase. You’ve already kept me waiting 4 years….” The Verizon iPhone is CDMA only but can serve as a mobile hotspot for up to 5 devices. CNET’s Kent German says:

“KentGerman: Note that the CDMA Development Group has announced that simultaneous voice and data on CDMA is coming the first half of this year. That’s all we know right now.”

CNET staffer Bonnie will head over to the Demo station to try to get some answers to questions being dodged by the execs. I just bypassed the chance to answer the “instant poll” about buying a Verizon iPhone immediately. There were not enough correct answers! :-) I am going to let the CNET folks dig for technical details [as I will], but with iPad 2 likely coming out VERY soon and an LTE iPhone likely thereafter, it will be important for me not to be “burned” by being too “bleeding edge.” The press conference link below has been shut down because the conference has ended.)

(Note added January 10, 2011: You can follow the press conference live on CNET, starting at 0800 PST here.)

-Bill at

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