iPhone comes to Verizon

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It's official. iPhone is coming to Verizon. It has an improved antenna and will act as a wifi hotspot with tethering for up to 5 devices, two features that separate it from the AT&T version.

Many things are the same. It's $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB model. This video, quickly made after the announcement -- and a bit noisy -- does show how much like the AT&T model it is, but lets you see the new features, too. Look for the "Personal Hotspot" item in the Settings Menu.

The phone will be available on February 10. Existing Verizon customers can get it by preorder on February 3. Verizon isn't releasing any information about pricing plans yet, but they did state that the contracts are going to be two year, not one year as had been rumored.

The phone uses a CDMA chip, which means it may not be as fast as people hoped. It also means you cannot talk on the phone and use the data plan at the same time, something you can currently do with AT&T. According to PCWorld in Five Questions About The Verizon iPhone, the phone is:

Another round of speculation for the next iPhone is when we'll see an Apple handset compatible with Verizon's new (and faster) LTE network. So far, Apple doesn't appear to be ready to commit to Verizon 4G. "First-generation LTE chipsets force compromises Apple doesn't want to make," said Apple COO Tim Cook during the Verizon announcement Tuesday.

The speed issue won't disturb people who are eager to get an iPhone on Verizon. Here's what @citymama said.

I'm preordering my @verizon iPhone. Everyone else, please stay on @AT&T and don't ruin it for us existing Verizon customers!Tue Jan 11 16:26:07 via TweetDeck

What's your attitude? Take the poll.

The announcement from Verizon means competition for AT&T. According to Mac|Life, AT&T is ready for it.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Monday, AT&T’s wireless chief executive says the company has been prepared for this day all along, and even welcomes the competition.

“We are ready for it,” de la Vega said defiantly. “The short and long-term viability of AT&T will be good whether we have exclusivity or not. We are much bigger than this.”

Verizon's news may also affect the Android market, since many people who didn't want to use AT&T have gone to an Android phone instead. In the case of AT&T and Android, we'll just have to see what happens. My opinion is that competition can't hurt and may make the situation better for everyone. What do you think?

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Virginia DeBolt writes about web design education and web technology at Web Teacher and creates a daily writing prompt at First 50 Words.

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