Verizon finally has the iPhone and we were all up on it yesterday in New York City. Millions who have been clamoring for the device on the Verizon network were relieved to know that their day has come, and millions more on AT&T were thrilled that they can make the switch to greener pastures. To top it off, some reporters noticed that the Verizon iPhone doesn’t seem to be affected by the “death grip” that plagued the AT&T model.
While using the phone myself, I didn’t seem to have any issues with data connectivity regardless of how I gripped the phone. Although in our hands-on video, one YouTube commenter did point out that the phone started off with just two bars when my hand was on the lower-left seam of the antenna frame.
TUAW rounds up some of the tech web’s impressions:
First up, Ars Technica’s Chris Foresman noted that gripping the phone by its edges did not cause any CDMA signal reception attenuation, even during a call. Slashgear’s Evan Sellek reported a loss of one bar while bridging the antenna gap (from 4 out of five to three out of five), noting, “…we still couldn’t reproduce the ‘death grip’ symptoms that plagued the initial launch of the iPhone 4…it looks like Verizon’s confidence in the iPhone 4 on their network seem to be pretty sound.” Finally, PCMag’s Sascha Segan managed to bridge all four gaps — an uncommon way to hold an iPhone for sure — and only lost a single bar.
“Antennagate” caused quite the controversy for Apple last summer. Not only were users complaining about signal strength and reliability, but Apple seemed to ignore the issue until it held a press conference where it promised free cases and iPhone bumpers for a limited time. However, it didn’t seem to hurt sales much.
This time around, with a new network and a second chance, it seems that Apple has either resolved the issue or perhaps Verizon’s network strength and capacity is better suited for the iPhone 4’s particular design.
The iPhone 4 on Verizon is a savior to many, but a compromise to some. While AT&T’s 3G network does provide faster data speeds than Verizon’s, it seems less reliable in many areas. Big Red’s EV-DO network may be limited to somewhere around 2.3Mbps download (on a good day), but users will be able to make phone calls, send and receive messages and access data more reliably than they would on AT&T.