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After nearly four years of U.S exclusivity on AT&T’s (s t) network, Apple (s aapl) said its iPhone will next month hit the Verizon Wireless (s vz) network. Essentially the handset is the same as the current iPhone 4, with just a few minor tweaks and one additional feature in the form of wireless hotspot functionality. Our own Ryan Kim covered the event and grabbed a few minutes of hands-on time showing some of the changes and features of the new model.
You can see that Apple modified the external antenna design, something I expected them to do at some point. And due to internal changes for the CDMA radio that Verizon’s network uses, the side buttons appear to be moved slightly, which will create a market for an entire line of iPhone cases just for Verizon phones. Although Verizon hasn’t yet announced pricing details, the phone can be used to connect up to five devices through Wi-Fi or the 3G connection can be shared via Bluetooth or USB cable.
Perhaps most interesting is the short speed test between iPhones on both Verizon’s and AT&T’s networks. Verizon won this unscientific challenge of a New York Times web page load, but it’s far too early to make any determinations based on this. AT&T service in some parts of the Big Apple has faced challenges from the large number of iPhone subscribers, for starters. And it’s a safe bet that Verizon made sure that it had top notch 3G coverage at its iPhone launch event, either through repeaters or some other means.
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