Tuesday is V-day

Hey, remember when the iPhone was only available on O2? That was rubbish, wasn't it? I mean, there's nothing wrong with O2, we're sure they're nice people. But having to change networks to get the latest phone sucked. And the extra burden on one network's servers made their data services a bit crawly. All things considered, things have been much better since all the major networks started selling the iPhone, though prices haven't come down much.

Well, spare a thought for the poor Americans. They're still tied to a single operator. AT&T have enjoyed three years of locked-in iPhone custom, and despite thousands of dropped calls and countless grumbles by users, have picked up millions of extra subscribers as a result.

Well, tomorrow all that changes. All the signs are that after years of negotiations and technical shenanigans, tomorrow the US mobile network Verizon will announce it's got the iPhone.

Why's it taken so long? Partly it's the US' lax competition laws, which meant the restrictive deal never faced the regulatory hurdles it faced here. But there are already technical issues: while all European phones run on GSM, Verizon is on CDMA, a totally different system requiring Apple to do some fiddling inside the iPhone to make it possible.

But the Wall Street Journal confidently predicts that the work is done, and that Verizon will announce it's got the iPhone tomorrow, with it going on sale at the end of the month.

Why does this matter to us? Well, it's just possible that the new Verizon iPhone will have further changes beyond those needed to get the phone on the network. For example, it could have a better camera. Any such changes will give us pretty clear hints of where Apple is going with the iPhone 5, likely to be launched in June.

So stay tuned for a possible glimpse of the future...

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