It is, for all intents and purposes, the same iPhone that people on AT&T are using except it works on Verizon. There is no Verizon branding nor any special new features to the iPhone. Except one: the mobile hotspot.
The only software that will come “pre-installed” on the Verizon iPhone is what Verizon is calling their Mobile Hotspot app. Though, fortunately, it’s found in the Settings and not as its own app which launches from the springboard.
You can use the mobile hotspot to give internet to up to five computers (or iPads). And while the mobile hotspot is a great feature, on Verizon’s CDMA network you can’t use data and voice simultaneously. If you’re broadcasting an internet connection with your Verizon iPhone and someone gives you a call, then the connection goes dead. Like when you were online using dialup and someone called your house.
Pricing for data plans hasn’t been announced yet, but Verizon says they’ll be based on current data plans. Verizon’s current smartphone data plans are $15/month for 150 MB of data or $30 for unlimited. AT&T charges $15/month for 200 MB or $25 for 2 GB; and if you want tethering enabled it’s an additional $20 per month. My guess is that Verizon’s Mobile Hotspot will be free to use with the data plans but the data plan pricing will be a bit higher for the iPhone 4 than they currently are for smartphones.
Lastly, it appears Verizon didn’t do their homework when building their website. The Verizon iPhone info page shows an option for the white iPhone. But it also shows images of the GSM iPhone (you can tell the difference by the antenna line break just above the mute switch — CDMA has one, GSM doesn’t), and it lists the iPhone as being GSM. Whoops. Clearly these are specs and images taken straight from Apple.com. I would be surprised to see a white iPhone available on Verizon on the February 10.
And for those curious, I will not be switching to Verizon. AT&T service in Kansas City is just fine.