Maybe No Antennagate, But Hold Off on Buying Middle-Aged Verizon iPhone

Talk about taking on a juggernaut just a few months after advising the world against buying the iPhone 4, Consumer Reports says you should delay purchase of the Verizon iPhone. The question is, will enough people listen to impact sales, or are they too fed up with AT&T to care?

The last time Consumer Reports put the iPhone through its testing ringer was July 2010, when the device was going through Antennagate, the controversy about its ill-placed antenna and the dropped calls that ensued. The magazine wouldnt recommend Apples darling because it wasnt satisfied that the problem had been cleared up. But it wasnt long before that issue drifted off the front page. Steve Jobs pooh-poohed it, and the world listened. Millions plunked down a couple of hundred bucks for the iPhone update.

This time around, Consumer Reports says you should wait on a Verizon iPhone which the publication calls “middle-aged” because another update is likely coming this summer. Yes, if you live in a place where AT&T coverage has been spotty at best, you might not be able to hold out any longer. But the magazine still has concerns about antenna issues (however, another report this week indicates the problem may have been fixed) and questions whether Verizons network will be as ready for an onslaught of iPhones” as weve been led to believe. In addition, CR doesnt like the fact that CDMA the technology on which Verizons network runs doesnt allow you to access the Web and place a voice call at the same time. Roaming is also an issue, the authors say, if you like to travel abroad CDMA phones dont automatically roam in global markets.

Verizon will start selling the iPhone on Feb. 3 after three-and-a-half years of rumor and speculation. Most analysts are predicting Verizon will sell between 6 and 11 million of the devices in 2011. It remains to be seen how AT&Ts bottom line will be impacted by the loss of exclusivity. Will customers be willing to break their contracts to make the switch?

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