iPhone 4 and Verizon Wireless consumate courtship

With the long-anticipated and finally confirmed debut of Apple Inc.‘s iPhone 4 on the Verizon Wireless network, the pressure will be on to deliver the smooth service some users have clamored for.

In about one month, the first Verizon Wireless customers will have the opportunity to join the ranks of iPhone-philes. Existing wireless contract holders with AT&T will have to decided if they want to pay the expense of switching to a new carrier or stick to their guns as a new market for the iPhone opens.



The launch of the iPhone on the Verizon Wireless network also raises some questions about other phones sold through the wireless provider. Droid-branded phones have been prominent components in Verizon’s marketing. Do they take a backseat if the iPhone is pitched as the premiere device on the network? Will they share equal “shelf space” as the company looks to attract more customers?

It was an interesting move to gear this iPhone for Verizon’s more established 3G data network rather than the just weeks’ old 4G LTE network. Broad service availability is essential for happy customers.

That said, 4G phones are making their presence known. Sprint Nextel for example has touted its high-end smartphones, the HTC EVO 4G and the Samsung Epic 4G, as rivals to the existing iPhone on AT&T’s network. However, 4G service from any carrier is relatively sparse at present. IPhone users have been quick to vocalize their desire for reliability. In time, 4G is expected to evolve into the standard where the iPhone and other devices can hopefully humming along with few hiccups.

Putting the iPhone in Verizon’s hands will likely force wireless providers not carrying the device to make their offerings more enticing. T-Mobile USA runs ads highlighting its services in contrast to the iPhone running on AT&T. Will they include comparisons to Verizon Wireless in future promotions?

And what of the iPhone’s long-term future? Will the other providers look to lure the device to their networks?

If demand among bandwidth-hungry iPhone users increases to fill their newest playground, we may see a new battle on several fronts to capture this niche audience.

About Joao-Pierre S. Ruth
New York tech correspondent for Xconomy, tech writer for Investor Uprising, and aspiring urban fantasy writer. I also make brownies and crème brulee.

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