Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

The Biggest Surprise About the Verizon iPhone: It’s a Mobile Hotspot

There weren’t a ton of surprises with the Verizon iPhone. In most respects it is identical to the iPhone 4, though it does feature a slightly different antenna design than the one configured for AT&T. Verizon’s version has four notches in its external antenna–one more than AT&T’s. Evidently, that was an adjustment made for Verizon’s CDMA network and not a new fix for the problems that gave rise to antennagate.

It’s running on Verizon’s older CDMA network and not the new 4G LTE network nor is it a so-called “world phone” that can run on GSM networks in other countries.

The biggest deal so far is that it can act as a mobile hotspot, allowing several PCs or devices to share its wireless connection. It can connect up to five devices.

Verizon said it won’t reveal service pricing for the iPhone or how much the hotspot service will add, if indeed there is an additional charge.

Update: 12:15 p.m. ET: A Verizon representative said that the company always charges extra for the hotspot feature, though it is not detailing if pricing will differ for the iPhone 4. The company currently charges $20 a month for 2GB of data for using its phones as Wi-Fi hotspots.

As for the feature itself, it is located as an option under the iPhone settings menu.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik