AT&T vs. Verizon: The battle begins
Whose network is better for iPhone users? The 2 carriers have plenty to say about that.
Now AT&T (T) no longer has the exclusive on iPhones in the U.S. And it didn't take long for both carriers to start bashing each other with taunts normally found at grade-school recess.
Let's start with AT&T. "I'm not sure iPhone users are ready for life in the slow lane," a company spokesman said in a statement to Business Insider. That's rich. AT&T's sluggish network has been nothing but a slow lane to iPhone users I know.
Then Verizon jumped in with its own network criticism. "It must be backwards day at AT&T," said spokesman Jeffrey Nelson, according to The New York Times. Har har.
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"AT&T is known for a lot of things, but network quality is not one of them," Nelson added. "Typically companies try to call attention to their strongest suit."
Expect the conflict to notch up as both carriers begin vying for current and future iPhone users. Verizon has the upper hand here, of course, as it's starting fresh out of the gate, opening welcoming arms to people fed up with AT&T's choppy service.
But what will happen to Verizon's network when it gets flooded with the 2.5 million net new customers that analysts predict this year?
AT&T is one of the most hated wireless companies around. Last month, Consumer Reports called it the worst cell phone service provider in the nation. Shares of both AT&T and Verizon were down about 2% in midday trading.
Verizon president Lowell McAdam took a few potshots at AT&T and other competitors on stage today, making fun of them for upgrading 3G services and calling them 4G. He joked that Verizon considered naming its 4G network "6G," according to The Washington Post.
But the iPhone will not be a 4G phone on Verizon. The phone will be a CDMA/EVDO model and will not be available to 4G networks. Verizon will begin carrying the iPhone early next month.
An Apple executive said the deal with the company will last many years and is "strategic," according to the Post. Verizon customers can preorder the phone on Feb. 3, and everyone else can place orders starting Feb. 10. The price: $199 for a 16GB phone and $299 for the 32GB version.
Now the ball is in AT&T's court. "The real question isn't how many iPhones Verizon will sell but what AT&T does in response," one analyst told Reuters.
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