“Two industry innovators are coming together,” Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told reporters at a New York press event announcing the Verizon-Apple deal.
Since its 2007 debut, the iPhone has used AT&T as its sole service provider in the US. AT&T will continue to provide wireless service for the iPhone, though the carrier’s exclusive relationship with Apple comes to an end with this latest announcement.
The iPhone 4 available through Verizon will be a CDMA model, which Australian readers may remember was the technology that Telstra abandoned in 2008 in favour of a 3G (or Next G) GSM network. As no Australian telcos offer CDMA, this slightly revised phone is unlikely to interest local users.
But there is one reason to be excited by the Verizon news. Included in the announcement was the ability for the new phone to work as a 3G wireless hotspot for up to five connections. The current iPhone 4 can only share its internet connection to a single computer via USB or Bluetooth. This new feature will make it possible to connect any device via Wi-Fi to your iPhone, including an iPad. Apple has not commented on whether this ability will come to non-Verizon iPhones, though MacRumors.com speculates that the feature will come to all iPhones with the iOS 4.3 update (pending support from other telcos, of course).