Thursday, February 3, 2011

Plans for the new iPad and iOS update come into focus: Verizon iPhone reviews consistent in praise of service

There were two must-read stories today about the new Verizon iPhone -- one from David Pogue of the NYT, the other from John Gruber on his Daring Fireball site. Both agree: the iPhone 4 on the Verizon network will be heaven for iPhone fans.

The real importance of both stories is that they seem to bring more clarity to what Apple plans on doing over the next two weeks. The original Pogue review mentioned, according to AppleInsider, that the date for the next iOS update would be February 13th -- a strange day to release an update because that is a Sunday. Any mention of this date is no longer in the story online, but the date does make some sense when you realize that The Daily's two week free period will end around that time. Apple will want to update its iOS then to include new subscription services needed for both The Daily and any other publication wishing to take advantage of the changes.
This date also gives Verizon a two week jump start on AT&T. Verizon has, and will continue, to play up the Personal Hotspot feature that it currently holds a monopoly on. As Gruber points out in his post, the Verizon version of the iPhone is running a slightly different OS than what is publicly available otherwise. Apple likes to have consistent OS releases, so this has to be rectified.

That will give AT&T the Personal Hotspot feature, which it is said to want to charge $45 a month for -- versus $20 a month on Verizon (though AT&T will give you twice the data). But based on both posts, anyone who lives in San Francisco or New York, and who currently has AT&T, will want to jump ship as soon as is possible. It will be nice for iPhone users to be able to once again make, you know, phone calls.

For many publishers, this update date -- cute, huh? -- is important because it may lead to some clarity concerning app guidelines for both subscriptions and in-app/out-of-app purchases. Clarity is good.