Mobile

Meet the new iPhone, same as the old iPhone

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Verizon Wireless said its new iPhone will have lots of the same features that are already in the old iPhone sold by AT&T.

The device will sell for $199 with a two-year contract and 16 gigabytes of memory. The 32-gigabyte device will sell for $299. The specs are the same otherwise, with features such as the retina display, Facetime video calls, high-definition video recording, the A4 processor, a 5-megapixel camera, and CDMA wireless calling. The only changes Apple made were to accommodate the CDMA radio, since Verizon uses a different wireless technology than AT&T, which uses GSM. Verizon’s CDMA network can’t support simultaneous voice and data, as GSM can.

That’s a letdown, since lots of users were hoping for the faster data connectivity of the 4G LTE network that Verizon Wireless has already launched for current customers. Current Verizon users can order the phone as early as Feb. 3 for pre-orders, and the device will ship on Feb. 10.

The announcement was made by Verizon chief operating officer Lowell McAdam and Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook (pictured above, photo credit: TechCrunch). They made the announcement at a Verizon Wireless press conference in New York. Apple CEO Steve Jobs did not make an appearance at the event. The phone can create a WiFi hot spot that up to five users can tether to, but otherwise it’s pretty much the same to AT&T’s iPhone. Cook said that Apple would have had to make “design compromises” in order to design the iPhone with the 4G LTE technology. Presumably, that means the electronics for the relatively immature 4G LTE technology are still large and would change the form of the phone.

Verizon has waited for the iPhone since 2007, but AT&T has had it locked up as an exclusive. [photo: TechCrunch]