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Long-awaited Verizon iPhone sale starts

Emily Collard / Lantern designer

The rumor is finally a reality; the iPhone will be made available for preorder to Verizon customers today and will be available to non-customers Feb. 10.

Verizon spokeswoman Laura Merritt said the company is expecting a lot of excitement from Ohio State students.

“Students are interested in being connected at all times — no matter where they are — all while using the latest technology,” Merritt said. “Students now have more options than ever before.”

Merritt said there shouldn’t be worries about purchasing the first iPhone model from Verizon. The company has invested more than $6 billion a year for the last 10 years into its 3G network.

“We do have the largest 3G network, currently,” Merritt said. “We’ve made those investments, and we’re prepared to handle that increase data tracks that we anticipate with the sale of the iPhone 4 in addition with our existing smart phone line up. Our Android customers do use a lot of data, and we’ve experienced no issues there.”

Nick Feuer, a third-year in accounting, said he has no concerns about complications.

“I figure the product has been out for a few years and just coming over to Verizon shouldn’t change anything or add new complications that haven’t happened yet,” Feuer said. “My only concern is that a better iPhone will come out a few months after this one, but I don’t think it’ll be worth the wait so I’m going to try and get one in February when it comes out.”

The Verizon iPhone will have a different antenna than AT&T’s iPhone, although it won’t be noticeable to the naked eye. It will not be able to use voice and data at the same time, unless the device is using Wi-Fi. That means customers won’t be able to speak on the phone while surfing the net.

Merritt said the Verizon iPhone will offer a personal hotspot for $20 for 2GB, which allows the device to act as a router for up to five other devices. AT&T doesn’t offer this for its iPhone 4.

The information will be stored inside the phone instead of AT&T’s method of using a SIM card. This SIM card feature is beneficial to those who travel since the card can be switched in with an international card. This can be a major issue to a student who travels frequently, or plans on studying overseas.

“I know that there’s been some confusion on whether (Verizon’s iPhone) will have global capability,” Merritt said. “There are rumors that it will not and that’s basically not true.”

To some Verizon, or non-Verizon customers, there is one final difference between the two iPhones.

“The ongoing joke is that (the Verizon iPhone) will be able to make phone calls, which is different than AT&T,” said Ben Gilbert, a fourth-year in computer science and engineering and the co-founder of the company Functional Delights, which produced the app SeizeTheDay.

Gilbert is in a two-year AT&T contract and does not plan to switch to Verizon.

“I’d also want to see how Verizon handled all the new traffic before believing it was head and shoulders above AT&T iPhone service,” Gilbert said.

Verizon iPhones will start at $199.99, at 16 MB with a new two-year contract. Verizon will also be offering, for a limited time, an unlimited data plan for $29.99 a month, Merritt said. AT&T only offers a $15 plan for 250 MB and a $25 plan for 2GB. 

AT&T representatives declined to comment.


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