What Cell Phone???
March 22, 2009 4:24 PM   Subscribe

Will hell freeze over before the iPhone comes to Verizon Wireless?

...and if so, will Verizon manage to cripple it to the point where I won't want it anyway?

My guess is that it will not come. That being the case, what current Verizon phone comes the closest to offering the versatility of the iPhone? I don't care about third party widgets and apps so much as I do essential versatility in terms of voice, data, and memory.

I've read reviews of the Samsung Omnia, but looking through previous questions here I didn't see much if any enthusiasm for it.

I see that the Omnia has a five megapixel camera incorporated, which is a definite plus for me.

What I'd really like is an iPhone, but the place I live and the Verizon coverage area mean that I'd like to stay with them as a service provider.
posted by imjustsaying to Technology (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Well, the 'rumor mills' are saying otherwise, that Apple is hiring CDMA engineers. Why would Apple want to limit the amount of consumers that get its expensive products, especially since Verizon has got the majority at the moment?
posted by Mach5 at 4:26 PM on March 22, 2009

If the advertising is to be believed, VZW seems to think that the Blackberry Storm (it's the touch-screen one) is the most iPhonesque of their offerings.
posted by box at 4:37 PM on March 22, 2009

You should also consider the LG Dare. CNet gave it a better rating than the Omnia and you wouldn't have to deal with Windows Mobile as with the Omnia.
posted by roomwithaview at 4:43 PM on March 22, 2009

AT&T's deal with Apple gave them five years of exclusivity, so if it happens it will be at least three years. After that who knows; Verizon's MO has long been to exercise a rather extreme amount of control over its phones and their platforms, but the iPhone experiment has been quite successful for AT&T. And that, of course, will make AT&T want to keep its exclusivity; who knows what will happen in that negotiation.
posted by raf at 4:49 PM on March 22, 2009

Well, this USA Today article says that the exclusivity contract between AT&T and Apple is for five years. This article from PCWorld is called "Don't Count on a Verizon IPhone in 2009", so, I think you've gotta wait a bit more.
posted by suedehead at 4:50 PM on March 22, 2009

Hmm, from Mach5's link, it looks like the five-year exclusivity might not be certain. Though it was widely reported by sources (like USA Today) that generally don't report things without a good basis. Though there could be all sorts of loopholes and options and so-forth in that agreement.
posted by raf at 4:56 PM on March 22, 2009

I've been trying to research the same thing and have come to the same conclusions here -- who the hell knows. I cannot change providers because it's the only US plan with a decent package to Canada without getting a whole world contract. (Unless someone can prove otherwise.)

And yet I also covet/want/need the iPhone (it would without a doubt make my life easier and more fun - and no, I don't want a cell and an ipod Touch to compensate), and I'm stuck in this same decision of what to get instead.

There is a new Blackberry coming out in April or May. Some folks like the Omnia but I wasn't that impressed, and the Omnia HD has already been announced to the rest of the world (it's not CDMA though). The HTC Touch Pro that has been out for a while was pretty unimpressive. The Dare wasn't bad but it's not really an iPhone.

- upcoming HTC touch diamond sometime soon (even though the Touch Diamond2 has already been announced...Verizon sucks sometimes)
- upcoming Blackberry Niagara (reports/photos here)
- The Versa for some reason gets touted as a cheap Dare but it seems like a bit of a different beast to me. It comes with a removable keyboard thing if you text/email a lot.

I'm waiting to check out the Blackberry Niagara and will make up my mind then.
posted by barnone at 5:29 PM on March 22, 2009

Apple might be hiring CDMA engineers because of markets like S. Korea that are CDMA only. If they want to enter markets like that, they have to make a CDMA-based phone.

Speaking as a huge iPhone fan and tech nerd, I wouldn't expect some Verizon iPhone until Verizon switches to 4G technology sometime in 2010-2011. Verizon and AT&T will both be using the same GSM-based 4G technologies.
posted by SirOmega at 6:03 PM on March 22, 2009

If by iPhone-esque, you mean the following:
HTML browser
smartphone; i.e. one with a standardized OS and the ability to install 3rd party apps without having to go through a carrier gateway

then you're probably looking at one of the HTC WinMo phones
Other than that the Storm, though it has no WiFi, or the Niagra, which is not touchscreen.
It's a tough situation; the best network in the country has, by far, the weakest, most crippled phone selection.
All that said, I see myself staying with Verizon for one reason: This past week at SXSW, while all my friends with their iPhones were waiting 5 minutes for page loads on the 3g network, by trusty Treo 700p (don't laugh) loaded up everything right quick.
posted by kid_dynamite at 6:33 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have the Omnia on Verizon and I love it. The functionality and ease of use increase exponentially when you install SPB Mobile Shell ($30) and the Skyfire web browser. You should be able to find answers to any questions you may have about the Omnia here. It might be worth your while to wait for the Omnia HD at this point. Not only is the Omnia's camera 5 MP, it has a good variety of settings for maximizing your shot and a flash with multiple modes. The HD is supposed to be able to record 720p video. The only drawback to me is relatively small internal memory, but micro SDHC takes care of that.
posted by ashabanapal at 6:37 PM on March 22, 2009

My BF has the Omnia, and is very pleased with it. I would recommend that you check it out. You can go into a VZW store and play with one.
posted by me & my monkey at 7:07 PM on March 22, 2009

Hey ashabanapal - what does that mobile shell do? I'm not really that techy - is it an application or do you have to program it somehow?
posted by barnone at 7:19 PM on March 22, 2009

Do not get a windows mobile anything! They are beasts. I am a huge fan of BlackBerry. I am posting this from my pearl while in the great white north. The new storm is cool but the just released new curve which looks like it may be called the niagara mentioned above is my favourite to blend web surfing, GPS, video, music and email, phone too of course. Although a touch screen is impressive a full keyboard can't be beat for its speed and ease of use IMHO.
posted by saradarlin at 9:34 PM on March 22, 2009

The google phone is supposedly coming to other carriers this year, perhaps as soon as a month or two. Other that that you can go with a nice Windows Mobile phone like a treo.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:45 PM on March 22, 2009

Just got a blackberry storm, and it's been awesome. It does everything I would expect an iphone can do, but cheaper.

You have to ask yourself what you want an iphone for in the first place. Write those capabilities down, and I suspect you can find a Verizon smartphone to match those specs. I wouldn't get an iphone JUST to get an iphone.
posted by PsuDab93 at 6:26 AM on March 23, 2009

I have to respectfully disagree with PsuDab93. Granted I played with a Storm for only a few hours, but I though my iPhone was far superior. It is a moot point now given that I have been forced to Verizon due to substandard AT&T coverage. Of course it is all a preference issue anyway, so YMMV.
posted by Silvertree at 6:46 AM on March 23, 2009

i have the dare and while it doesn't have all the apps that the iphone does, it has a lot of things i like better. for instance you can use the regular phone keypad layout to text, not just the qwerty keyboard, which can be a hassle (and i love me some t9). i also appreciate the way that the dare touch screen works versus the iphone. i wish that my phone could do all the stuff the iphone does, but i didn't want to switch from verizon either, so the dare works just fine for me. i tested the blackberry storm and thought it was far too awkward (plus the data package is twice that of the dare). i've also heard good things about the omnia, but haven't gotten to test that yet.
posted by itsacover at 9:15 PM on March 23, 2009

sorry for the delay in response, barnone. spb mobile shell is a refined user interface with tons of handy features. There are three sections, each with its own screen. You navigate between screens by flicking across the touch screen right or left. The first is called Today, it has your local weather & time, battery remaining, reception bars, a list of the days appointment/reminders, and little icons telling you how many recent texts, voicemails, and calls you have pending. The second organizes and categorizes your programs (you don't have to use the start menu, widget bar, or launch apps from the desktop) and gives you a shortcut to the task manager so that you can actually end programs instead of leaving them running in the background like when you close them. The third is shortcuts to frequently used contacts. It's a great interface, and the Today screen reminds me of the HTC Touchflow. It makes the Omnia a pleasure to use. Well worth the $30.
posted by ashabanapal at 4:47 PM on March 24, 2009

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