Two Surprising Questions about the Verizon iPhone

A lot of people have asked me what I thought about the Verizon iPhone and if they should get one. I am fairly agnostic when it comes to wireless OSes - while my personal phone is an iPhone 4, I also carry (and really like) a Blackberry Bold 9650 for work. My household also has Android devices to round out the collection. Each certainly has its strengths and weaknesses.

People then ask - "but I heard you can't make a phone call and surf the Internet at the same time, is that true?", of the Verizon iPhone. It is a valid question, but most of the people who have asked are already Verizon customers - their current phone can't do it either! This is a limitation of the CDMA network that Verizon uses and applies to all of their current phones. Yes, simultaneous voice and data do come in handy, but it is a fairly new feature across the board. The original iPhone couldn't do it either - it wasn't until the iPhone 3G that this was possible on the AT&T iPhone. Of course, the exception which is rarely mentioned is that if you are in an area with a WiFi connection, you can continue to access data while on the phone. Even on my iPhone 4, 99% of the few times I use this feature, it is in my house, where there is abundant WiFi connectivity.

The second surprise for me, specifically for current Android users, is when I ask them about their apps. Android apps won't run on iOS, and vice-versa. While many apps are available cross-platform, if they are not free, you'll need to pay again.

This would certainly be a stumbling block for me to switch my primary phone off of iOS. While I enjoy many free apps, I also have a fair investment in paid apps and wouldn't want to repurchase all of them to switch to another platform.

Surprisingly, many of the people I have talked to are concerned, and then realize that most of their Android apps are free, with maybe one or two paid apps - no big deal. Conversely, of the people I know who already have an iOS device, many have numerous paid apps. While I'm sure this isn't the case for all Android users, I suspect the easy purchasing process in the iTunes App Store vs. the Android Marketplace may be Apple's secret weapon to keeping customers using iOS for a long time to come.