MediaFile

What did not happen at the Verizon iPhone launch

USA/After years of rumors and breathless anticipation, Apple’s iPhone is finally coming to the network of Verizon Wireless. But because Verizon is launching a version of the device that has been available from rival AT&T for more than half a year, there was little new technology on display to excite the gadget geeks and Apple fanboys.

And the show failed to deliver on some of the more intriguing rumors that have been kicking around about the event, which was announced suddenly last Friday and thus managed to steal plenty of thunder from the Consumer Electronics Shows in Las Vegas, where most tech reporters were camped out.

Here’s a quick rundown of what did NOT happen on Tuesday

    No white iPhone – Like a Yeti, the white iPhone seems to exist only in legend. The company has repeatedly delayed the launch of the device, saying at last check it was due this spring. No one is sure exactly why the White iPhone is proving so difficult to produce. But some had expected (or perhaps hoped) to see it appear Tuesday as part of the Verizon announcement, but it was not to be. No LTE – Verizon has launched a new high-speed wireless network in markets covering 110 million people with a new technology known as Long Term Evolution (LTE), and has promised 10 new gadgets using that network by mid-year. But the iPhone 4 is apparently not one of them. “Clearly some people wanted LTE,” said Gleacher & Co analyst Brian Marshall. No Steve Jobs – No one was quite sure whether the Apple CEO himself would appear on stage at a Verizon-staged event. Some in the Apple blogosphere were skeptical, and they proved correct. It was Tim Cook, Apple’s COO — certainly no slouch, but not someone who commands the sort of spotlight that’s Apple’s head honcho does. For those accustomed to Apple-hosted events, Jobs’ absence was felt: “This was not a Jobs-worthy event. But I thought for sure they’d throw them a bone with a white iPhone,” joked BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis

Verizon’s iPhone antenna ‘death grip’ proof?

vzapplOn the face of it, the iPhone 4 unveiled by Verizon Wireless on Tuesday is pretty much the same device that AT&T has been selling. It costs the same, and features essentially the same bells and whistles — with the nice addition of a personal Wi-Fi hotspot, that allows up to five other devices to share its wireless signal.

But the blogosphere quickly picked up on one intriguing change in Verizon’s iPhone: the all-important antenna, which wraps around the device. You can see some pics from Gizmodo here, highlighting the differences between iPhones offered by Verizon and AT&T.

You will recall that the antenna for AT&T’s iPhone was the source of quite the uproar last summer, when some users complained of poor reception and dropped calls when holding the device a certain way.  The issue unexpectedly snowballed, giving rise to such memorable phrases as “Antennagate” and “iPhone 4 death grip.” Of course, none of it seemed to dent iPhone sales.

Liveblog: Verizon set to launch the iPhone. Finally.

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Verizon is set to launch the iPhone today — January 11, 2011 at 11am ET. Cheeky.

Will antennagate be fixed? Will Verizon launch a 4G version by summer? Will Steve Jobs make an appearance on stage or by hologram? Can Verizon Wireless’ network survive the crush? Will AT&T customers in San Francisco stop dropping calls?

We’re live blogging and analyzing the event today. Joining us for the liveblog from New York will be NPD analyst Ross Rubin, Gartner’s Michael Gartenberg and Ritsuko Ando, Reuters correspondent. Sinead Carew of Reuters will also be on scene in New York covering the announcement.

Verizon’s iPad launch: Is this the right party?

It’s become a time-honored tradition: Start selling an Apple gadget and brace for the throngs of eager consumers.VZiPad

For Verizon Wireless, the big day was Thursday, as the nation’s largest wireless carrier for the first time began to sell the sleek iPad tablet PC.

But by the looks of the store in downtown San Francisco that Reuters happened upon on Thursday morning, things were clearly not following the traditional script.

Verizon Wireless CEO: We don’t need the iPad — yet

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Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdams kindly spent some time with us this afternoon and spoke at length about the future of LTE (Long Term Evolution) 4G high speed Internet from the No.1 U.S. wireless phone company.

Asked if there was “any hope” that Verizon would have the iPad anytime soon, McAdams laughed:

Any Hope!? Any Hope!?

For McAdams tablets will be a big part of Verizon’s offering in the second half of 2010 with Android-based tablets from the usual suspects including Motorola, LG and Samsung.

Apple: AT&T a “great” partner (but will they get the tablet?)

appleiphoneFew relationships in the technology world are as closely scrutinized as that between iPhone maker Apple and its exclusive U.S. carrier, AT&T. Complaints about AT&T and its network have reached a crescendo in recent months, and most analysts believe it is only a matter of time before rival Verizon Wireless gets the iPhone, perhaps as early as this June.

When Apple executive were asked about AT&T on a conference call Monday — following its strong December quarter results — Apple executives played nice, to no one’s surprise

“AT&T is a great partner,” said Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook.  He continued: “in the vast majority of locations we think that iPhone customers are having a great experience, from the research that we have done. As you know, AT&T has acknowledged that they are having some issues in a few cities and they have very detailed plans to address these. We have reviewed these plans and we have very high confidence they will make significant progress towards fixing them.”

Motorola faces iPhone with Droid army

Verizon Wireless and Motorola have unveiled what could be their best shot yet in the battle against Apple Inc’s iPhone — the long expected Droid. Motorola says Droid is the most technically advanced smartphone out there. Its promises:

    A speedy Cortex A8 ARM Processor and a Texas Instruments OMAP application chip that it says makes the device run 30 percent to 50 percent faster than other smartphones, including iPhone. First dibs on Android 2.0, the newest version of Google’s mobile software. A new free navigation service to battle dedicated GPS makers like Garmin and TomTom. A higher resolution screen that’s better than iPhone

“Once they see the display I think they’ll be hooked,” Motorola Chief Executive Sanjay Jha told Reuters.

Verizon’s Chief Marketing Officer John Stratton promised to spend more money advertising this device than any phone in its history. He said that it could be seen as a ”big risk” for Verizon,  which started working with Motorola a year ago, to bet on a handset maker that had been steadily losing ground.  But he said his company liked working Motorola so much that it plans to sell more Motorola Android phones in 2010.

Verizon Wireless appeals to lawmakers, even newspapers

Verizon Wireless chief Lowell McAdam has been busy writing letters recently, mostly to U.S. lawmakers.

Yesterday’s missive had a similar intention, to explain how his company is really very warm and friendly toward consumers and competitors. The difference is its addressee — none other than Arthur Sulzberger, the publisher of the New York Times.

He did tear to shreds the newspaper’s opinion piece on phone companies. He accused the paper of relying on myths to make its point that regulators may want to take a look at phone company’s behavior.

Is WiMax the Betamax of mobile space?

Is WiMax wireless technology headed for the same fate as Betamax, which lost the battle against VHS as the video cassette standard in 1980s? A senior Verizon executive thinks so.

Recall that WiMax and Long Term Evolution (LTE) are key technologies for operators to cope with surging data traffic from smartphones and laptops with mobile data cards. At the moment, it’s a heated fight to become the industry standard.

“It’s going to be like VHS-Betamax thing,” Stuart Curzon, vice president of Verizon Business unit, told a news conference in Helsinki, Finland. “WiMax has been around for a few years now. If it would’ve taken off, it would’ve done it by now.”

Verizon Wireless sells out of BlackBerry Storm early?

Has Verizon Wireless already run out of BlackBerry Storm phones?

Buyers who didn’t get to Verizon stores in time on Friday, the first day of sales, were first told that they would get the touch-screen iPhone rival in about five to seven days.

But by Monday morning, Verizon’s website was only promising that orders would be shipped by mid December, citing “limited availability.” Dec. 15 was also the date cited by at least one midtown Manhattan store, which had run out early on Friday.

Does this signal overwhelming demand that took Verizon and Research In Motion by surprise, or some sort of problem? RIM referred questions about the delay to Verizon Wireless. Verizon Wireless was still not commenting by 4.45 PM Monday.