iPhone 5 Release Date Brings 4G Confusion, Verizon Data IRE
The iPhone 5 is bringing more than just a hardware turnover with it. Along the way it’s ignited controversy over its 4G prospects, anger over how Verizon is handling data plans for new and existing iPhone users (and in fact all of its customers), mixed views of an Here’s more on the iPhone 5. Expansion to Sprint, and finally, some users of aging iPhones who are showing a surprising level of patience when it comes to waiting it out for the lagging release date of the iPhone 5. On the topic of iPhone 4 users thinking their iPhone already has 4G, Nathan Lamb writes in to opine that “I guess it’s easy for someone to think they have 4G if they’ve never had a 4G phone. Certainly when your phone has a “4″ in the name” while Michael Beers shares that his mother refers to her iPhone 4 as an “iPhone 4G” and raises the issue of whether a 4G LTE enabled iPhone 5 (or not, as the case may be) will really matter in the eyes of consumers on the kind of level which the carriers are hoping.
Then there’s this bit of confusing yet plausible bit of information which one Beatweek reader says comes from iPhone 5 carrier AT&T itself: “I was told by an AT&T employee that while AT&T is upgrading the edge network to the 3G that they added the lte equipment while they were at the towers so that meant that when they flip the switch it will be a majority 4g for everyone. Trust me I have lived on edge for years and now have the best 3G you can get at my house. And the microcell that I got will be upgraded to a 4g model in November. That’s enough for me to read between the lines and say mass 4g this year and iPhone 5 LTE!!!” Take it for whatever it’s worth.
On the subject of whether Apple should add a separate iPhone 5 hardware model if that’s what it takes to expand the iPhone to Sprint, at least one reader thinks that would be overkill for under-delivery: “Granted the strategy of attacking the android market by selling an iPhone on sprint and t-mobile makes sense, I don’t think Apple is going to spend anymore money developing new hardware to support Sprints Wimax 4g footprint. Sprint is already trying to purchase LTE bandwidth to keep up with At&t; and VZW. I think if they do get an iPhone it will just be the CDMA version that Verizon offers now it will be far more cost effective. Then once Sprint has a bigger LTE footprint they can get whatever (insert number) iPhone that will be cable of supporting LTE. The only reason it made sense for apple to build a CDMA iPhone for VZW was because it represented 80 million customers. Sprint and T-mobile together only represent 25% of the untapped wireless market. T-mobile’s faux 4g is basically the same HSPA+ that At&t; is trying to call 4g as well before they complete their LTE network, so if they buy T-mobile they only have to adjust there phones to include more frequencies in the carrier bandwidth that they already have access to in the GSM band granted not many phones will be able to just have a firmware update but many of the smartphones will.”
Those longtime iPhone users who were grandfathered into AT&T’s unlimited data plan but jumped ship to the Verizon iPhone 4 in order to take advantage of Verizon’s unlimited offer before it ended this month may have made a tactical error, if Beatweek reader EyeThinkG has his story straight: “Once your contract ends on Verizon, regardless if you renew or upgrade your contract, you lose unlimited data. Only AT&T; allows you to remain on unlimited if you sign another contract!”
And then finally there’s Jacob Weihrauch, who’s been sitting on an aging iPhone for awhile and doesn’t seem to mind waiting just a bit longer for the iPhone 5 release date if it means Apple is taking the time to get it right: “iPhone 3GS user here: I’m okay with waiting a couple of months. The 3gs is still a very speedy phone in my book and being that I have used it for 2 years now, an extra 2 months won’t hurt. If the iPhone sports a dual core processor (A5), that alone will be enough to switch. I’m fully aware that some Android phones have dual core processors, but I also know that the Android phones don’t have iOS 5. It doesn’t take much for iPhone users to upgrade and Apple knows it. The beauty of their products lie within the software.” Here’s more on the iPhone 5.