Verizon iPhone Rumors Heat Up: When the Move is Anticipated, and Who May Want to Stick to AT&T

The Verizon iPhone is a reality, and will be available in January 2011. That’s the rumor, at least, according to two unnamed sources in a report on Bloomberg. While AT&T has declined to comment on the murmurs, a Verizon iPhone would be attractive to many people who may be weary of enduring AT&T’s network problems.

Want an international iPhone? Don't count on it with a Verizon iPhone

Now unless a manufacturing change is planned, you’d still have to learn how to hold your iPhone 4 (really, why should a phone require more instruction than most newborns come with?) in that special way that doesn’t kill reception due to the poor antenna placement. But assuming Apple loosens their stance on free bumpers (no free bumpers for you! {Boy Genius Report}), or that the Help Wanted postings for antenna developers {GeekSugar} produce an actual fix instead of denials of the problem, there’s still an issue.

If you travel internationally, an AT&T iPhone may be a better option than on on Verizon, and it comes down to the network. While many of Verizon’s customers are fans of the service across their CDMA network {Wikipedia}, AT&T’s GSM network {Wikipedia} is actually the more popular option around the world.

In many countries in Europe, CDMA networks simply don’t exist. Want to take your iPhone on a trip to London? Paris? While you may be able to get limited use by picking up on a wi-fi signal, you’d be out of luck for actually making calls or sending text messages with any reliability. If you’ve ever tried to take a Sprint phone out of the country, the experience is pretty much the same.

Now that’s not to say, AT&T makes international roaming a walk in the park. While you can expect your phone to work with on of AT&T’s international roaming partners, the over the air updates they use to ensure iPhones aren’t jailbroken mean that you’re pretty much restricted to the partner they choose, and the rates may not be all that great. Data plans in particular, can cost as much as you paid for the phone itself with even moderate use.

It’s not a flaw that’s unique to AT&T. Even though T-Mobile, the other US carrier with a GSM network, has a large network in Europe, roaming outside the country can still cost hundreds of dollars. At the end of the day, however, you at least have the option.

Now if your jaunts outside the States are limited to a brief vacation every other year, the offer of a Verizon iPhone is probably still strong. But if you’re as international as the iPhone 4 is, you might already be with the right carrier.

If despite the antenna problems, and rather ambivalent customer service, you’re still crazy about the iPhone 4, not a fan of AT&T, but need the freedom of a GSM network, there is an option. While countries like Hong Kong get unlocked iPhones by default, that’s quite a plane ride for a phone. Canadian and UK customers though, are also part of the unlocked phone club and can purchase the iPhone 4 legally unlocked and contract free. If you have a friend, or even just a mailing address in either country, you just may be able to have it all.

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