Apple, Companies

Live Coverage: The Historic Verizon iPhone Press Conference

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You’ve read all about it, you’ve been hearing rumors and speculation ever since it first hit the market in July of 2007, but now the wait is over – the mythical Verizon iPhone is about to become reality as the carrier’s president Lowell McAdam takes the stage in New York City to announce the arrival of the iconic smartphone to the nation’s #1 wireless network.

Steve Jobs is also rumored to join the announcement and we should learn everything there is about the terms of purchase, service plans and more.

Although we’re not reporting live from the event, a number of blogs and news outlets are and we’re tracking them all to bring you up-to-date information as it happens, right here on BSN. Don’t forget to hit the Reload button in your browser because this article won’t auto-update itself.

And here we go, Lowell McAdam takes the stage…

  • says "a big announcement" everyone’s waiting for won’t disapoint
  • "users want their digital lives wherever they go," commenting on data, broadband and video that are driving tech growth
  • Verizon was the first to offer 100GB commercial service and they link big markets across six continents
  • quotes analyst who said Verizon displayed an armada of new devices’ last week at CES 2011 in Las Vegas
  • he drops the bomb: "Today we’re partnering with a giant of the industry, and that’s Apple"; yes ladies and gentlemen, the Verizon iPhone exists!
  • they started talking to Apple about bringing iPhone to the Verizon network in 2008
  • iPhone 4 to be available on the Verizon network "early next month," meaning beginning of February 2011. Hurah!
  • describes Apple’s chief of operations Timothy Cook as "someone who’s become a friend and colleague" and invites him on stage

  • Cook says that the iPhone 4 is now tailored for the Verizon network in that it contains additional circuitry needed to support Verizon’s CDMA network
  • Cook: "5 megapixel camera, HD video… the custom A4 chip. But most importantly, it provides an integrated customer experience that’s far beyond what anyone else is providing. From iOS, to iTunes, to the App Store – they’re all designed to work together."
  • Cook says Apple’s been working with Verizon "for awhile" and dubs this "just the beginning of a relationship" between the two companies
  • Dan Dee takes the stage to discuss the specifics

  • Verizon’s been scaling their shipping and inventory systems in order to accomodate for the iPhone launch
  • the carrier has been drive-testing the iPhone on its network; he ensures everyone that "iPhone 4 is going to run on our network" AT&T be damned
  • Verizon will begin accepting pre-orders for iPhone 4 on February 2, that’s for their existing customers
  • everyone will be able to order the iPhone 4 in Verizon Wireless brick-and-mortar and online stores, or in Apple stores, beginning February 10
  • price points are the same as with AT&T – $199/$299 for the 16GB/32GB iPhone 4
  • surprise: iPhone 4 on the Verizon network comes with Personal Hotspot capability that lets the handset connect up to five WiFi devices to Verizon’s CDMA cellular network
    however, Verizon’s price includes mobile hotspot for sharing your cellular connection with up to five WiFi devices
  • so, there is no 4G LTE iPhone version, just a CDMA 3G iPhone
  • and now, Apple’s chief of operations Timothy Cook and Verizon’s Lowell McAdam and Dan Dee are taking questions from the audience – the Q&A session commences

  • asked about the Verizon iPhone shipping volume, Apple’s Cook refuses to share exact numbers but underscores "there’s tremendous opportunity" for both companies to cash in on the iPhone’s popularity
  • Cook has "no comment" about a one-year iPhone refresh cycle on the Verizon network, like on AT&T’s
  • asked why Apple hasn’t engineered a 4G LTE version of iPhone to take advantage of Verizon’s latest fourth-generation Long Term Evolution deployment, Cook says that first-generation LTW chips just aren’t good enough and would force design changes "Apple wouldn’t make"
  • the CDMA iPhone is a "multi-year, non exclusive deal" – wow, this means Apple could sell this iPhone version in other CDMA territories, like Asia
  • asked about the antenna performance, Cook said changes have been made to the handset in order for it to work on the CDMA network, before proclaiming "it’s going to work great"
  • like other CDMA devices, this CDMA iPhone won’t let you use data while on a call, both men respond to the question fielded by ArsTechnica
  • And in case you didn’t know, Cook said: "I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve been asked ‘when will it work on Verizon?’"

And that’s it people, this wraps up the surprisingly short press conference.

Update: Verizon Wireless and Apple just put out a press release announcing iPhone 4 on the Verizon network.

So what do you guys think? Was the announcement underwhelming? Did you expect more? We’d love to hear your opinion so meet us in comments…