Verizon Wireless iPhone 4 / 5: Outside and Inside Differences

By Gary Johnson - Oct 10, 2010

Now as it seems likely the iPhone is finally coming for Verizon Wireless customers, it means that Apple will be offering an iPhone 4 as two separate products. To look at they will seem identical but on the inside they will be completely different.

Both handsets will be completely incompatible with each other, and each device will only work on their dedicated networks. You will find it hard to tell the difference from the outside, and only when turned on will you be able to distinguish between the two with the operator logo.

Once any iPhone 5 is released this should coincide with AT&T and Verizon having a 4G network. The need for users of each carrier to remain backwards compatible with each carrier’s incompatible current-generation networks means that the iPhone 5 may have to be available in both versions.

Buying the device in U.S. means you are tied in to a two year contract for the first part of the phones life, so there might not be many people changing networks during the current devices lifespan anyway. This means that the iPhone 4 and any iPhone 5 will be available as two physically different, physically incompatible, yet physically identical handsets.


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  • Bob Orlarus

    In Canada and England, you can buy a factory unlocked iPhone. You pay more for it but are free to use any carrier. Why can't we do that here?

    Thats a very dumb question, like the guest guy said
    Its like saying why are the things sold in every country different????
    Well, England might have different shops from america
    and there might be a different law of how you can sell things

  • Ellen Mangan

    It would appear that the contract between Apple and AT&T had certain stipulations in it to Apple so that the IPhone would be restricted usage in production for only AT&T. I'm sure there were contractual restrictions made upon Apple so that any reproduction of this particular phone for any other ISP would be prohibited within "X" amount of years……….
    If Verizon is getting a comparably engineered technological gadget from Apple, you can bet that it isn't in any violation of that contract with AT&T …………………………..and of course, Verizon is paying big bucks for a similarly restricted production contract with Apple.
    Then down the road, there is the "explosion" of product from Apple that will be user friendly on all the available networks……………………they'll make their gains one way or the other…………………..all of it coming from those of us that can't stand to have any technological instrument that isn't the newest, fastest, or most advanced something at all times. It's your money, and you can't take it with you !

  • Fyuri

    These handset would not be identical if they made a cdma version. CDMA doesn't use sim cards so no card slot on the phone

  • Tapple

    ….This is news really? A phone on Verizon and similar model on AT&T aren't interchangeable? ….THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!!! My god people, if you didn't already figure this out, you probably couldn't even figure out how to use an iPhone. Go get one of those old people phones that don't do anything but make calls.

    • Jay

      The only problem here is the Iphone on AT&T, I think that Apple should prepare the Iphone to work on any GSM network, T&T has a bad service, bad customer service, They DON'T have unlimited data, They always charge You extra every month (THIEVES), and I have a question for AT&T, How the hell They think that an Iphone that is a Smartphone which uses so much data, can have enough with limited data to 2GB…. And They always charge extra data use!!

  • Guest

    "In Canada and England, you can buy a factory unlocked iPhone. You pay more for it but are free to use any carrier. Why can't we do that here?"

    This is probably the most ignorant post I have seen on the internet, congratulations. Just because they can do things in other countries doesn't mean we can do it in the US, plain and simple.

    • arjun_

      It isn't ignorant. The poster is asking why. Isn't that legitimate?

      • Guest

        Never try to reason with an idiot.

        • musa nur

          I agree

    • may ellarn

      So-why not? Oh, because we / companies seem to be greedier here?

  • thomcarl

    Until Apple officially verifies that there will be a new iPhone on a provider other that AT&T all of this hype is no more than media crap, which based on past performance will do anything for a hit. Media journalist have absolutely zero credibility which they prove over and over every day.

  • moew

    Neither the iphone or other devices on ATT work properly. If you try to do data and voice at the same time, another user on ATT drops a call! 🙂

  • mojoron

    Neither the new iPhone or the Droid on a CDMA network can operate at its full potential which makes me laugh at users of both devices when they brag about how their device will surpass the other. Until the cell service providers get on the same standard, there will never be a phone that will take over the market. Competition is good in the smartphone market but the main problem is that the phone you purchase today will most likely not work two years from today which will force you to trash the old phone and purchase a new phone. Frankly I am tired of having to purchase a phone every two years and wish that progress would slow down a little.

    • Brandon

      SERIOUSLY? "Slow down a little"?? That is like saying, I am happy with junk they put out now, dont bother making things better. It's like saying the medicine that we have for a disease now that doesnt cure it but treats it is good enough, dont rush to find a cure. I wouldnt want to imagine a world where everyone says "eh, things are good enough".  You dont NEED to buy a new phone, you just WANT to, there is a major difference. Look at Sprints 3g/4g phones that do both, is it not possible? The world that stops moving forward and settles for "good enough for now" is a world that I do not want to live in.

    • Jimmy

      I completely disagree. I can't think of a single phone that doesn't work only two years after you buy it. It may no longer be the latest and greatest, but they all still make phone calls, etc. If you have to buy a phone every two years, it's because you chose to get a new one, not because your old one is no longer compatible with your carrier.

  • Linda

    In Canada and England, you can buy a factory unlocked iPhone. You pay more for it but are free to use any carrier. Why can't we do that here?

    • Will

      This is possible only on like networks.

    • Dan

      You are able to purchase the phone at a more costly expense if you choose not to sign a two year contract. For example I paid $200.00 for my DroidX while signing a new two year contract, or I could have just purchased it for $569.00. The only issue is that At&t & Tmobile is on a GSM network and Verizon and Sprint are on a CDMA network.They are two totally different networks.

    • Franky

      1 word.. Capatilism…

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