Verizon iPhone Is Pretty Much What We Expected

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Now that gadget reviewers have had the Verizon iPhone in their hands for a week or so, their thoughts about the new device are starting to roll out. It turns out the Verizon iPhone is pretty much what we expected it to be: it's better at making voice calls but its data transfer rates are slower.

"As we all suspected would be the case, the iPhone is a better phone on Verizon than it is on AT&T. It is not, however, a superior media-consumption device," Brian Chen wrote on Wired. Walt Mossberg concurred, saying,"at least in the areas where I was using it, the Verizon model did much, much better with voice calls."

But reviewers face an interesting dilemma. They're reviewing a phone-service combination that can't really be tested before the phone gets out into the market. That's like reviewing driving a car in Los Angeles in 1905. While Verizon's network may be working really well right now, when there are only a few dozen iPhones pulling data down, we still don't know how well it'll perform when there are thousands of them in key markets like San Francisco and New York.

Most suspect Verizon's beefier network can handle the traffic, but so many things about the iPhone and its users have surprised us before.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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