Tag Archives: verizon

Nice infographic from Tech Hive on LTE speeds

Infographic: 4G LTE speeds, Verizon vs. AT&T:

The infographic below shows each carrier’s average LTE speed in the cities we tested where both LTE services are offered. The cities are ranked according to a composite score of AT&T and Verizon LTE download speed.

(Via Tech Hive)

The problem with average speeds in tests like this is that they mean almost nothing compared to your real-world performance. Now that I’m carrying an AT&T phone and a Verizon iPad, I have to say, Verizon is hands-down the better choice for me personally. And I’m very often getting faster speeds than this average on LTE with my iPad.

More importantly, I’m getting extremely fast speeds in places where I get zero signal on AT&T. And many of them are places I frequent.

But that’s me. I know other people who live in other places where AT&T is absolutely the right choice. I know people who live in San Francisco for whom AT&T is a better choice. Cell coverage is still a very touch and go thing.

So, as always, your mileage may vary. You have to take that into consideration before charts like this sway your decision-making, interesting as they are.

Verizon LTE iPad Hotspot and Battery Life

Apple’s new Verizon iPad can serve as LTE hotspot for more than 24 hours:

The highly-technical Anand Lal Shimpi over at AnandTech recently revealed that his tests of the new Verizon iPad found that it could act as a mobile hotspot by sharing its LTE connection with other devices — such as a notebook — for approximately 25.3 hours under the proper conditions — namely that the device’s display remained turned off. That’s roughly 5 times longer than the 4 hours and change of popular LTE MiFi hotspots from Novatel and Samsung.

(Via www.appleinsider.com)

My limited experience with using my new Verizon iPad as a hotspot suggested to me that it was far less of a battery hog than when I used to use my iPhone as a hotspot. I was lucky to get an hour or two of use out of my iPhone4s as an AT&T hotspot for my laptop. With the iPad, I didn’t notice any battery drain at all after a few hours.

This research backs up my conclusions. Awesome news.

I’ve never been in the camp of those who suggest paying more for the cellular iPads “just in case” you might want to use data. I still think if you’re pretty much always going to be in WiFi range when you use your iPad, you can save yourself the money or spend less cash on the extra storage space. But if you do plan on being in places with no WiFi coverage at least once in a while, the new LTE iPads (and particularly the Verizon ones with the free hotspot feature) are an even better deal than they used to be.

Verizon will charge for the Hotspot feature on iPhone. (It’s official.)

Raney said that Verizon iPhone owners will be able to take advantage of the 3G wireless hotspot feature for an extra $20 per month on top of the iPhone’s required voice and data plans—that’s the same price that applies to current Verizon smartphone owners.

Some wishful thinkers will no-doubt be disappointed by this, but I have to say, it’s not at all surprising. And compared to AT&T’s tethering plans, it’s a great deal. After all, for that extra $20 a month you at least get a separate pool of 2GB to use. AT&T charges you $20 just for the privilege of using tethering with no extra data allotment. (Which sort of reminds me of those times in college when I’d get charged for going to parties even when I wasn’t drinking. You want me to pay you just to walk into your dark, smelly living room and hang out with a bunch of drunk people? No thanks.)

The bottom line is that Verizon had NO GOOD FINANCIAL REASON to give this feature away. People who want to jump from AT&T will jump for the coverage issues alone. People who don’t care about the phone coverage aren’t going to pay the $325 to get out of their AT&T contracts just to get a free hotspot. It’s a niche feature. So all Verizon had to do was charge less than AT&T is charging for tethering, which is what we all assume AT&T will charge for the hotspot when iOS 4.3 is released next month.

Companies don’t leave money on the table unless they have to. Hotspots and tethering are expensive extras because few people use them. Right now, it’s in all carrier’s best interests to keep it that way, so they can keep the load on the network reasonable. Giving away free data on the 3G network is like inviting your users to prove AT&T’s network doesn’t suck so bad after all.

Another old Apple Rumor finally passes on

Today is one of those magical days when an Apple rumor you thought you’d never hear the end of finally comes true. Like “Apple is making a phone” or “Macs are going to use Intel chips” or “The Beatles are coming to iTunes”, “Verizon will get the iPhone” has been around since about ten minutes after the original iPhone was announced.

These rumors are special, because they are the kinds of rumors that are obviously going to come true eventually, but they are completely unlikely to happen at the time of their origin. It’s like saying that someday, Apple will replace Steve Jobs as CEO. Well, sure, that HAS to happen eventually, unless Jobs really is an alien cyborg of some kind. But it’s not going to happen this year, or probably even for the next few years.

People play these rumors to death because they know that eventually they have to come true. And then they can claim they were right all along. They hope people will forget that they originally included an arrival date along with their prediction. Six months from now, by next June, sometime next year—the latest two were “just after Christmas” and “by Valentine’s Day.”

When you’re dealing in rumors that have to come true eventually, the date you attach to the rumor becomes the rumor itself, guys. So sorry, you’ve been wrong up until now. Well, the Valentine’s Day people are technically correct, but they were hedging a bit.

The only people who can kill such rumors are the people at Apple. And they can only kill them by making them come true. So today, we get to see the Verizon iPhone rumor die, once and for all. I wonder what ironclad rumor will replace it? That Apple will stop making Macs, perhaps?

(On a side note: Can you imagine if Verizon DIDN’T announce an iPhone today? They call a post-CES conference, let the speculation come to a boil, and then announce some new Android phone instead? Heck, they could announce world peace at this point, and people would be disappointed for months.)

iPads sold at the Verizon Store is not the same as iPad (or iPhone) ON Verizon

Still, that’s a compelling data point. Apple had been expanding the range of iPad retail outlets beyond Apple Stores and AT&T all this quarter; you can buy them at Wal*Mart, for instance. But Verizon is the first mobile wireless store that will have it…and barring another Interesting email, the online.

So! Rumors of a “sooner rather than later” Verizon iPhone have just clicked one stop higher on the credibility scale. Mind you, it’s still firmly in the “I won’t believe it until I hear an official announcement” zone.

Andy Ihnatko is right, as usual. This new deal for Apple to sell iPads at Verizon stores (even if they are WiFi-only iPads) is a sign that at least the two companies are capable of making a successful deal of some kind. But it’s not a smoking gun for the illusive Verizon iPhone, by any means.

But forget the iPhone implications. The real story here is that Apple is preventing the iPad from suffering at the hands of the only force that has hurt the iPhone: Verizon. After all, if customers are eventually going to see Android tablets in Verizon stores, Apple might as well make sure that iPads are sitting there right next to them on the table.

This move in effect kills the only opportunity Android had for making any significant inroads in the tablet form factor. Subsidized tablets tied to a service provider contract seemed to be the only way Android manufacturers could at least APPEAR to be price competitive. Now, the sales rep at Verizon is going to be forced to explain that a month-to-month MiFi is actually a better deal over the life of the device.

This is all about plugging the holes in the market share armor. It will be interesting to see how Android manufacturers react.

‘Junkware’ comes standard on Verizon, T-Mobile smart phones | Technology | Los Angeles Times

However, Android isn’t the only operating system that’s victim to junkware. HTC’s HD2, a Windows Mobile phone for T-Mobile, also includes some unusual software picks, including a Blockbuster app.

So who’s to blame for this annoying bloat?

“I’d say the carriers might be more nefarious on this than the device manufacturers,” said Steve Drake, a mobile analyst for IDC. “The carriers have the final say about what goes on there” because they generally handle promotion, support and distribution of the phones.

The exception to this is Apple, Drake added. Because the company has its own stores for distribution and technical support, the iPhone maker has avoided many of the pitfalls of the standard U.S. carrier-manufacturer relationship.

“What goes in the box is a fight between the carrier and the device manufacturer that you wouldn’t believe,” Drake said. “A lot of it can be driven from a revenue perspective.”

There are many reasons why I don’t like the fact that Apple uses AT&T as its exclusive carrier in the US.

The lack of competition for AT&T has led to higher pricing, longer waits for features like tethering, and an overloading of the network, which has led to the now infamous crappy reception and poor coverage areas, particularly in certain US cities.

I firmly believe that if (when) the iPhone gets on some more carriers in the US, the iPhone experience will improve greatly, even if I don’t choose to leave AT&T at that point.

Just look at any of the other countries where the iPhone is offered on multiple carriers, and you can see that many of our US specific grudges would quickly go away if this long-term exclusivity were to end tomorrow.

There is one reason, however, why I’m glad Apple stuck it out with AT&T, and managed to use that exclusivity for at least one great advantage over every other phone available here in the US. And that’s Apple’s total control over what apps are preloaded and hard-coded into the device.

Sure, there are Apple apps that I can’t remove from my iPhone, like the calculator, or the mail app, but none of those are cheap crapware that’s trying to sell me something. There are no expiring 30-day trials, Blockbuster video apps, or other such nonsense taking up space and annoying me to no end.

Android fans love to talk about the nirvana of “open” software, but these sorts of ploys to nickel and dime users out of their minds are the reality of the real world of corporate culture. There’s nothing “open” about forcing users to carry around a copy of “Avatar” everywhere they go.

As long as there is money to be made, people in suits will always try to wrangle that money out of you. And Google has no control over what Verizon, T-Mobile, etc. put on these phones, because they have nothing to offer the carriers in return for that favor.

It would be one thing if Android phones were cheaper than the iPhone, thus justifying this diversion of attention. You paid less, after all, so it makes sense that you’d be subjected to ads and other ploys to take more money from you. But they are not. All the major phones on the market are similar in price.

So if this insistence on adding cheap crapware is the reason why the iPhone is still not on Verizon, than I have to say I’m happy to wait until Apple can make that happen.

AppleInsider | Verizon mocks Apple’s iPhone 4 antenna issue with full-page NYT ad

The advertisement also makes note of reception with the device.

“Most importantly, it comes with a double antenna design,” the advertisement reads. “The kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like and use it just about anywhere to make crystal clear calls. You have a voice. And you deserve to be heard.”

Of course, the advertisement is referring to recent widespread reports that the iPhone 4 can lose signal when held in the left hand. Users can cause their handset to experience a reduction in reception when using their palm to cover a seam that separates the device’s two perimeter radio antennas.

And people still think that the Verizon iPhone is coming any day now? I’d say ads like this one aren’t going to be helpful in the negotiating room with Steve.

Also, god help them if anyone has any sort of reception issues with this phone. “Hold the phone any way you like and use it just about anywhere” is not exactly smart text . You’re practically daring someone to take that very literally.