Verizon iPhone: What Do We Actually Know?

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But if Verizon offered an iPhone earlier in 2011, it could be a modified version of the 3GS or the iPhone 4.

Regardless of which version of the iPhone Verizon makes available on its network, some say the experience on the Verizon iPhone could be slightly different from the experience on the AT&T network.

Verizon's network uses CDMA (code division multiple access) technology and AT&T uses GSM (global system for mobile communications). While both kinds of technology connect a wireless device to applications that reside in a wired world, the current CDMA network does not allow a user to simultaneously use voice and data services.

As Apple and AT&T commercials like to tout, on an AT&T smartphone, over the cellular network, you can talk on the phone while surfing the net, checking e-mail, using a mapping service or accessing countless other data applications.

Will iPhone Crush Verizon's Network?

Analysts say an upgrade is on the way in a few months that would enable simultaneous service on the Verizon network, but, until then, Verizon iPhone would go without unless Apple comes up with a suitable workaround.

As the CDMA system doesn't have the same global support as GSM, it's possible that Verizon iPhone users might also have fewer international options.

But otherwise, analysts say the two carriers would offer near-identical phones. And, given that Verizon already knows how much pressure smartphone users place on a wireless network, many expect Verizon to be well prepared for the potentially millions of new iPhone users.

"The key question has been, will they be crushed by the iPhone?," said Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin.

The answer, according to Galvin, is no.

"It's not a question of network superiority it's a question of experience and timing," he said. "Now with the droid devices and other things, that Verizon has …[been] flexing its network in terms of data usage, they have the experience under their belt now to be able to contend with the challenges that the iPhone is going to bring. I think if Verizon had been first, they would have had the same problems that AT&T had."

While the speed of the network may be slower than AT&T's, he said that's "largely irrelevant" to the customers, as it may not affect how fast the device feels (in terms of how quickly pages load, etc.).

Still, others say that though Verizon might have boosted its network in anticipation of an iPhone, it still might not be enough.

"I think there are going to be issues," said Munster. "The amount of smartphones is going to skyrocket in the U.S. and the bottom line is as much as you prepare for it, you probably aren't prepared for it."

But, he added, we'll just have to wait and see.

"People are most focused on just getting the call right," Munster said. "Who knows how it plays out but something tells me Verizon will do a better job with that but have some problems with data speed."

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