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04:30 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman

Verizon iPhone 4: Unanswered Questions

Verizon and Apple have revealed a lot about the iPhone 4 for Verizon's network, but left plenty unsaid.

Apple's iPhone 4 goes on sale exclusively for existing Verizon Wireless customers starting February 3. The rest of the world (well, at least the rest of the U.S.) will have access to it one week later on February 10. The 16GB model will cost $199 and the 32GB model will cost $299. It offers all the same features as the AT&T iPhone, save for simultaneous voice and data. It adds only one feature, Verizon's Mobile Hotspot. Those are the facts Apple and Verizon Wireless laid out today.

There's still a ton of unanswered questions, however, as Verizon and Apple kept a tight lip about more details. Let's look at a few facts not revealed.

1. Plan Pricing: Verizon's FAQ page for the iPhone 4 notes that customers will be required to sign up for a voice and data package, but doesn't spell out if there is a minimum monthly cost involved, nor if there are any special promotional rates going to be offered. Current rates for smartphones cost $40 for voice and $30 for data. Tack on another $20 for unlimited messaging.

2. Mobile Hotspot Cost: Verizon's iPhone 4 will be able to serve as a mobile hotspot, allowing up to five other devices to access the internet via Wi-Fi. This feature costs extra on Verizon's Android smartphones. Will it cost extra for the iPhone 4, too? If so, how much?

3. Full Retail Cost: Verizon also indicated in its FAQ that customers will have the option to purchase the iPhone at full retail price if they want to avoid extending an existing contract. Verizon doesn't list what the full retail price is. The full retail price of the AT&T version ranges from $600 to $700.

4. Where it Will Be for Sale: The iPhone can be ordered from starting February 3. Neither Verizon nor Apple has said what retail locations will stock the iPhone 4 on February 10 aside from Apple Stores. Will it be at Verizon Stores, Best Buy Stores, RadioShack, Target, Wal-Mart?

5. Over-the-Air iTunes Downloads: Verizon's FAQ points out that iPhone 4 users will be able to access the iPhone App Store to browse and download applications directly to their iPhone. It doesn't say, however, if iPhone 4 users will be able to download iTunes Music Store content -- music, TV shows, movies, etc. -- over the air.

6. Case Compatibility: The Verizon iPhone 4 is slightly different from the AT&T version. The volume switch has been moved a short distance on the left side of the phone. This automatically puts into questions the new iPhone 4's compatibility with the gazillions of iPhone cases out there. Will case makers fill in the gap with "Works With Verizon iPhone 4" cases?

Verizon and Apple said that these and more questions will be answered close to launch date.

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