AT&T takes opening shot at Verizon iPhone

The Verizon iPhone has not been officially announced yet but that has not stopped AT&T firing the first shot at a CDMA iPhone.  According to a report by Business Insider, AT&T PR boss Larry Solomon has risen to the challenge and come out with the following statement:

The iPhone is built for speed, but that's not what you get with a CDMA phone. I'm not sure iPhone users are ready for life in the slow lane. AT&T’s GSM technology is faster than Verizon’s CDMA technology.

With this statement, AT&T have not only added their confirmation to the Verizon iPhone launch rumors but have shown what kind of battle we might be in for. The question is, will this launch a price war between the two networks, or just a war of words?

Let us know what you think in the comments!

[Business Insider]

chrisoldroyd

UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

AT&T takes opening shot at Verizon iPhone

109 Comments

I wish my emoji (thumbs up) icon would go here. Or the infamous 'like' button. GSM runs circles around the old and dated CDMA technology.

You might want to look up what the real requirements for LTE or 4G service... Verizon doesn't meet it... They give you a fake 4G and AT&T are still the only ones that can handle voice and data at the same time!

They meet the basic LTE requirement and beat the current HSPA+ implementations. Plus LTE is easily upgradeable to LTE Advanced later on which will meet the standards requirements for 4G while HSPA+ still will not.

So you think that At&t's 4G is real? None of the American 4G networks are real! NONE! that includes both iPhone carriers in America plus T Mobile and Sprint! Check your facts! Anyone doing a little rresearch

So you think that At&t's 4G is real? None of the American 4G networks are real! NONE! that includes both iPhone carriers in America plus T Mobile and Sprint! Check your facts! Anyone doing a little research already knows this! So don't be so quick to talk when you're ignorant yourself. Also in my area AT&T serves up EDGE! So check the map of your God! LOL!

Data speeds are good, but so is the ability to complete a phone call in Houston without it dropping. I invested $150 for an ATT Micocell for my house, because of poor coverage. It'll be interesting to see experiences Verizon users have when this thing launches...I still have 15 months left in my contract :-(

I think AT&T will wait to see how bad the hemorrhaging is before any price war breaks out. Then again maybe during the Verizon announcement they may make a preemptive price change. Has a carrier ever lowered prices for contracted users?

I have said this before but ill say it again. There's no doubt that if you compare the two (GSM vs CDMA) both at full speed then GSM will come out on top. But what a lot of people forget is that 75% of the time AT&T iis nowhere near full speed (at least where I live, not bashing AT&T where you live). TThat being said the Verizon CDMA network that I am on will EASILY keep up with the speeds that the GSM runs around here. It all depends on where you live and I think all of the consumers will take that into consideration when choosing a carrier. I don't think there is any need to jus blatently shut down the Verizon iPhone because its always a bad thing for one company to have lock down on any type of service or product. I think for those that are already on a VZW network because its better in their area will not have any problem using their product. I think its rediculous to hear some of the Verizon bashing. Why? Did they kill you mother and/or kittens? The markets evolving, sit back and enjoy it.

I lived in North Carolina and now in NYC with Att and verizon. Reception in both areas have been the same no matter what carrier i have. however, my ATT phone is remarkably faster. So, in my experience, both companies have has the same reception but ATT is always faster.

Gawd Dustin. If you're finding ATT speeds faster in Manhattan, then I'm worried. I'll sit around Union Square for 10 minutes waiting for the map to load. Talk about "life in the slow lane". I'd much rather hang up to access data, than sit there for ever looking like an idiot.

I live a few blocks from Union square and there is a big difference. Maybe its the phone. I had a samsung fascinate and it was such a pos i traded it for a droid pro. The droid pro is the best android device i have had but still doesnt stack up against the iphone.

I live in Kalamazoo MI, AT&T has been promising us for years that they would implement G3 service in our area and has never delivered. This is one AT&T customer that has been lied too so many times that I'll be switching to Verizon as soon as my contract with AT&T is up.

No plans to change here. The few times I use it, I like being able to use the internet and look something up while I'm on a call.

That's funny cause neither VZW or Sprint support it, are you on WiFi. Oh by the way he means over the net no local to the device

I have Verizon and live in lower manhattan. I live on the top floor of a 5 story flat and have 1 bar of reception. My wife has an iPhone and has the same thing. These companies need to forget about speed and start worrying more about coverage. Who cares what speed you can top out at if you are never close to topping out? They need to start measuring speed based on one bar of coverage.

So true. What's the point of having super speeds, with no bars? I'd trade full power 3G for strong coverage any day

GSM=Speed HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA
Sprint would have been better!

Personally, I am glad to see the iPhone come to Big Red. I am not jumping ship because where I live Verizon does not cover my home. I live 2 miles from the city limits and have tried in the past. I am loyal to AT&T to a point because I have been with them for so long. I still have complaints such as coverage dead zones and not be proactive in pricing with companies like Sprint's all inclusive service. I think that this competition between Verizon and AT&T will only benefit the consumer. Maybe not right away but in 2011 for sure. Only those with money to burn or the foresight to not upgrade to iPhone4 in light of this announcement will jump. But with iPhone 5, I presume there will be a device that covers both AT&T and Verizon in one. Could be 6 though when 4G/LTE is more common. Apple will make one device so they are not different on each carrier. It will always work the same so the competition comes from who has the best coverage and price in your area. For me, it's AT&T.

"But with iPhone 5, I presume there will be a device that covers both AT&T and Verizon in one."
Very interesting if they actually did that and I never considered it, actually. It would make perfect sense, though.

You're kidding right?
I live in the UK and we have 3G and HSPDA most places (7.2 mbps at peak). Please tell me that Verizon isn't /still/ on CDMA (100kbps). Is their network steam-powered? ;)

Verizons 3G is EV-DO which is based on CDMA. It caps at 3.1 Mb/s but real world speeds are only around 1Mb/s. Real world speeds with AT&T hit about 3.5 Mb/s where I live (north of indinapolis IN).

exactly, anyone who co-signs at&t are in denial too, i cant wait to leave at&t and go to vzw!

Yep, and then you will find out what "the Network" is all about. If Verizon's network is so good, why have they never won one of the independent network tests????

Good. AT&T will tout higher top speeds and simultaneous voice/data, and Verizon will tout better coverage and higher "real world" performance. Each will light a fire under the other, and both will improve for us.
Begun, this phone war has.
(Not sure how you missed that as a tagline/graphic, Rene :) )

I'll be sticking with AT&T because I'm in a strong area of coverage and haven't had any issues over the last 3 years with them. I definitely do hope some users switch to Verizon though just to balance out the data load, that'll make AT&T's network here even faster.

Why cant we all just get along? The iPhone coming to Verizon is great for everyone? If you dont want it, dont buy it..stick with AT&T. But i think that it will cause some good competition between the two carriers.

No, what would be great is if the iPhone would come to all major carriers. Sprint's network would handle the iPhone better than Verizon's. T-Mobile also deserves an iPhone. It will be great when iPhone come to ALL networks.

No way it should go to Sprint. The only reason it still keeps cheap prices is because there's not a ton of people moving in and using the network. It has been a very reliable service for me paying less than I would pay to Verizon and AT&T, I want to stay that way. Sprint will probably have pretty good smartphones anyways: HP/Palm, WP7, Android.

I find it interesting that my AT&T iPhone 4 has all of the sudden stopped dropping calls constantly over the past few weeks. I will monitor it closely, but will consider jumping to Verizon for iPhone 5 if it continues.
You guys are all assuming that the Verizon iPhone won't have LTE.

Overall this is good for everyone (us consumers). Att and verizon hopefully duke it out coke/pepsi style.

To me it's not a matter of which carrier is faster. AT&T says they cover 97% of Americans. I guess I am in that other 3%, very poor AT&T service out here. Verizon service is great, so if it's a decision between slow or no service, I pick slow. Personally, I don't find VZW slow.

Yes you are correct...AT&T DOES cover 97% of all americans.........9.7% at 3G speed (or something like that).....and personally where I live I can't wait for the iPhone for Verizon either either...just to shut people up.

AT&T covers 80% of what? New York? Are you serious? I can take you to AT&T stores in NC that don't have 3G coverage! LOL!!! You're funny!

Interesting that you say AT&T doesn't have 3G coverage in NC. My brother had 3G coverage in OBX near Corolla when my Dad's Verizon phone and my T-Mobile phone did not. It just seems weird to me that they would have good 3G coverage where other carriers don't have 2G coverage but they have issues in stores.

AT&T covers 97% of AMERICANS (residentially) while Verizon covers 97% of AMERICA (geographically). That's how I look at it which is especially useful since my place of residence is actually the one place I'm least likely to use my cell...
It's kind of like that map add Verizon started when they found AT&T's advertised 3G map on their website. That was hilarious especially when AT&T lost the defamation suite they filed against Verizon for using their open publicly published maps against them.

I'll be getting this on VZW. We have multiple lines and it just makes sense to stay. I have some friends with the iPhone and they have no problems with their service. This is good for everyone, both networks could use improvement.

Strangely intrigued by the Verizon iPhone, but, this may wind up being the best time TO stick with AT&T. If a number of people jump ship, then the networks will become less congested, and they may offer better pricing/options to retain the customers they do still have. I think I'll wait around for a bit to see if things get better first before bailing.

That's exactly what I'm hoping for...I'm due for an upgrade in a couple weeks (but my wife isn't) and I'm hoping that not only will AT&T be willing to bump her up a couple of months but that the device price will come down a little.
BTW I'm happy to stay with ATT; where I live (Chicago suburbs) we get great coverage, no dropped calls, and 99% of the people we call are on ATT. Add in the grandfathered Unlimited Data, and Verizon really holds nothing to offer me. But that's just me :) Your situation is different, I'm sure!

LOL, gotta laugh at all the people being so defensive about "their" AT&T.
It's like the battered spouse syndrome in full effect. You have been defending AT&T for so long, that it has become more emotional than factual.
Are you iPhone fans or AT&T fans?

I have been reasonably happy with AT&T (although I'm switching to VZW once LTE Android devices are released), but I think losing iPhone exclusivity will be a net positive for AT&T customers. AT&T'S been using the iPhone as a crutch for years now, and once they're no longer able to say "Well yeah, BUT WE'VE GOT THE IPHONE," maybe they'll start sinking a more responsible amount of cash into network development and deployment. Hopefully, the competition will end up being good for anyone who uses a data-intensive device.

Well it looks like you are a VZW fan. They have spent millions to convince people that their network is better yet Verizon does not seem to win any of the independent network surveys. Sounds like VZW fanboys are the ones with the problem.

A VZW fan? I suppose so... Only from many years of experience with them.
I switched to AT&T 7 months ago for work related reasons (got an iPhone 4, which I'm happy with), but AT&T's network in Northern California is just nowhere near what Verizon has.
I live in a city, and still get 1 bar at home. (or two if I am lucky). Go out in the country-side, and your chances of getting coverage drops. Everywhere I went for weekends or vacation this summer had Verizon coverage. No AT&T. In my normal day-to-day life, AT&T works... But I expect better in this day and age.
Once my AT&T contract is up, I will reassess the situation, but I will gladly switch back to Verizon (with an iPhone 5 or 6) if AT&T has not improved by then.
But hey, if AT&T works for you, then kudos.
A Q: Have you tried Verizon?

No, in the past most of ATT iPhone customers were bashing ATT and wishing Verizon would get the iPhone but now it looks like they are back tracking. Why did they change their attitude?

Lars,
I'm a fan of whatever works. I'm not being "defensive" of AT&T, and would never do so. True, AT&T hasn't been stellar, but it hasn't been horrible for me either. And anyone who thinks that Verizon will be the end of all issues, is also in denial. I think there is a very good chance that if there is enough of a surge in use of iPhones on Verizon (which we all know there will be), you'll see the Verizon's network have it's own issues/hiccups. Remember, there were a couple studies done within the last year that showed that iPhone users tend to consume anywhere from 2x to 5x more data than their smartphone counterparts. Add that to the Verizon network, and I don't think it'll all be smooth sailing. But hopefully, they prove me wrong, and have learned from watching AT&T's mistakes. Again, not defending AT&T, but I've also learned from experience "the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence". Instead, I'll just watch from this side for a while, and see if the people on the other side frolic in the soft, lushy Kentucky Bluegrass, or if they trip and fall and skin their knees on the Crabgrass and Dandelions.
;-)

Of course... AT&T will be better for some, Verizon for others. Choice is good!
I'm just reacting to the childish defensive posturing by many here.

Actually, the widest sample study last year suggested Verizon wireless users (across all models) used 25% more data than iPhone users on AT&T.
http://bit.ly/ht1S0d
Not saying that Verizon will be able to accommodate easily the additional data traffic from a massive influx of iPhone users on top of what they already have, but it is not true to say that AT&T has sagged only due to more data-heavy iPhone users.

Problem with this information is as you get more users the number drops as VZW has less users of smartphones their numbers are higher

[citation needed]
Verizon has slightly more subscribers than does AT&T, and the study in the linked article say that the increased data usage is across all models of VZW smartphones. The average Verizon smartphone user, whether Android, RIM, or WinMo, used more data than did the average iPhone user on AT&T. The iPhone has been wildly popular, but if you want to imply the number of AT&T iPhones is greater than the number of Blackberries, Droids, Galaxy phones, and WinMo phones combined, you might provide some actual numbers.
Again, the iPhone might well be the straw that breaks Verizon's back -- I am not defending VZW here. But it is a cop-out to give AT&T a pass on their failings just because they had the great misfortune to carry the iPhone.

Yeah, I remember seeing a story about that. But didn't that have something to do with the way Verizon had the phones querying thier network? I could be wrong.
Either way, it's going to be fun watching it all shake out! Hopefully, it makes it better for us all!
(Spoken by a current AT&T iPhone user)

Arguing over which iPhone will be "faster" is foolish since it will be completely dependent on where and how the user is connected since coverage differs widely across the US.
I am glad for the Verizon iPhone to increase consumer choice.

AT&T should keep their mouth shut. I am still in Vegas from the CES, and I am sure that Rene will agree. AT&T service here is an absolute joke! Tons of no service areas, 50% of calls don't go thru, many get dropped, 3g slow or completely dead.
Of all places, CES!! Embarrassing! The only good thing that I will say is that last year it was even worse, I had to use payphones every time I wanted to make a call.

AT&T had better jump on the "fake 4G" bandwagon, or people are gonna leave. The first lesson in Business 101 is that "people are stupid".

Agreed 100%! That's why I'm hoping for an influx of users to jump from AT&T to Verizon! Free up my towers! (since AT&T obviously hasn't done anything about it yet)

they don't need to and shouldn't be doing this. it makes AT&T look stupid.
They should just say, if you enjoy being able to use data while talking on the phone stick with us...otherwise have fun with Verizon.

Here's a related question, does Skype multitask a call in iOS such that you could be using Skype to carry on a conversation while also doing something else in another app?

Manhattan must be in the last 3% that ATT is advertising about their coverage. They should focus on getting their own network fixed before they bash someone else. For those of you that don't have GSM experience from Europe, the US is like a third world country when it comes to mobile phone networks.

I want to see Verizon price plan break down and the physical phone. When I had Verizon they charged for everything and I mean everything visual voice mall was 3 dollars extra month. Their Customer service sucks. Who know how long their unlimited data will last, let a lone the price of it. And I bet they will have their crappy Verizon apps that you wont be able to remove from your phone.

I really don't think Verizon is going to have any apps on it. This is probably one of the issues that kept them from getting it in the 1st place. AT&T has no custome apps... I believe it will be a replica of AT&T's.

Ty,
I think that was the sticking point before, but I'm sure Apple also has the $ signs in their eyes now, on how many potential subscribers this opens them up to. I can see a little bit of "give and take" on both sides, with something like Apple allowing a minimal number (1-2) Verizon apps, in exchange for access to their market. Of course, this is pure speculation on my part, but the Verizon heads are as stubborn as Apples, so who knows!

That VZ Navigator might appear, if any do at all. The problem is who is going to wanna pay $10 bucks a month when they can buy something in the APP Store muchhhhhhh better. So again, I am not sure.... but I 'll guess I will see when I buy it : ) Lol.

I live in Canada on Rogers where the network is 21mbps I always get 5 to 6mbps down and 2 to 3mbps up... I could never see myself switching from gsm/hspa to a old outdated technology like CDMA... Why do you think every carrier in Canada finally dumped there CDMA for Hspa+

Sure the argument about coverage is like comparing a dodge viper to a ford focus, sure the ford focus might be able to squeeze through tight areas that the dodge viper may not fit, but who honestly would give up a viper for a ford focus lol

AT&T is the worst carrier in the US according to consumer reports. and it's not even close. Tmobile Sprint and Verizon were close in scores but AT&T was way behind.

You believe Consumers Reports? Really, one example they tested oil filters. They used all of the standard test from SAE. Then they created their own test, the poured oil with "Arizona road dust" into the filters under no pressure, just poured it int through the holes and poured it out again and measured the "dust" and declared one filter the winner based on this test. The standard engineering tests found most filters to be tied. This is Consumer's Reports testing. It is a nice guide, but as the basis for a decision, I would run from it.

@scottae .. I'm sorry that you spent all this time writing this. This wasn't a test. It was Reader's survey. These are actual people talking about their own services. Now I understand it's a sample .. so if Verizon gets a better score , it might not be a big deal.. however AT&T is WAY BEHIND in the score.

@JERRY well think about it who's more likely to complete the survey people who want to bitch and moan or positive people who have nothing better to do than complete a survey about how wonderful their network is

whats the point of people taking sides of at&t or verizon shouldnt everyone be happy that there is more competition. this is a site deticated to the iphone and other ios products. if verizon getting the iphone makes at&t battle it out to gain the iphone/smart phone customers doesnt that mean good news for the consumer? if i live where i have poor at&t service say between 1-0 bars at any given time then what is the point of have a gsm phone that can do voice and data at the same time if i do not have the service to do even one or if i live in an area where i have good service with both then maybe a price war between them will make me decide. best of all however is this might gain more developers for the platform. we should all be looking at this as another asset in the great smart phone war. ios vs wp7 vs bb (yea...) vs palm vs android more people on the platform is more incentive to developers better apps and makes the other platforms try upping their game even more which makes apple have to reinvent the reinvented smartphone.

Hey, AT@T, yeah you! Maybe if you had 3G everywhere like Verizon does you had an argument but you don't! Verizon however has 3G in my area where you decided to keep that LOVELY slow EDGE in place. Thanks, you had years to fix that but too late now, I'm switching and I'm sure there are MANY others like me out there.

LTE at 5-12mbps? That's not 4G. We have HSPA+ at 14mbps, indeed 40mbps in limited places - nobody is calling that 4G!

Question: what are the crap apps the carriers like to force on the phones? Sign up for this or that service? Trialware? iPhone is my first smartphone so I cannot judge how bad a problem this is.

@RobbieB .. I'm not taking sides... I'm just speaking from personal experience .. AT&T was horrible. And my friend who is an original Iphone owner is switching and he can't wait because of how horrible AT&T is.

i can completly understand needs to switch i had the iphone 3g and then the 3gs and then i was number one online at a local walmart and got the only iphone 4 they had (i went at 7am i wasnt going to wait all night and got lucky) but after having the iphone and dealing with only being able to get text messages when a single bar of service would grace me for a few minutes at a time i had to call it quits. so i went back to verizon got the droid x and went from horrible service everywhere i went to great service with full bars everywhere i went. but the droid x isnt the iphone and i would much rather have the iphone back. so im happy that verizon is getting the phone. so my point is i dont understand why some people are trashing verizon just because it can not do both voice and data. when i had the iphone at my house i could do data via my wifi and no voice at all just random texts. so if i wont be able to look at a web page while on the phone thats fine. at least i will have the phone with the apps i enjoy and the service i need. i still updated the apps i have on itunes just in case verizon was to get it. so i look at this as not a time to carrier bash but to enjoy the fact that our membership will grow and our phone will become better because of it.

In regards to data speeds:
CDMA iPhone = iPhone Jr.
Verizon LTE = LTE's baby brother, following the big kids (HSPA+) around.
When he grows up, he'll smoke 'em.
But for now, he's just a wannabe.

AT&T is just shooting their mouthes off. Verizon's network is faster and covers more areas. Verizon's 4G will smoke AT&T's 4G.

the iPhone is not built for vzw who wants to just do one thing at a time on their iPhone? what happens when you get a boring call that you have to take with AT&T I get to browse the web while the idiot yaks my ear off and I don't need wifi for that! 2nd steve jobs did state at the announcement leading up to the ip4 release that he was more then willing to give vzw the iPhone when their network could handle it. steve jobs said that knowing damn good and well how ancient CDMA is and how it will only cripple vzw to have a data load like the iPhone on it. so in theory again just theory AT&T's network is stronger and with everyone hopping ship (thank god) it will only help clear up the congestion, while all previous AT&T owners take a step back to the dark ages and get locked into a contract with a technology that is basically equivalent to dial up Internet  

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