updated 01:20 pm EST, Tue January 11, 2011
Verizon iPhone hotspot built-in
Hands-on time with the Verizon iPhone 4 has revealed many of the unmentioned but potentially significant details of the design. The CDMA model is running iOS 4.2.5 and has the Personal Hotspot option built into the Settings section, not as a third-party app on the desktop. It expands the menu bar to let users know when the hotspot is active.
Verizon hadn't said how much extra the hotspot will cost, if at all. It already has a tethering plan in place that costs $20 per month for 2GB of sharing.
Despite the switch to CDMA, where battery life is usually shorter, the runtime should be the same as with a GSM model, Apple said.
Physically, the swtich to CDMA has required some minor changes to accommodate the new network switch, but also likely to reduce the instances of "death grip," which doesn't appear to be evident from early testing. The steel frame now has four breaks for the antennas, although the extra one added at the top is still thought to be for local wireless like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi; all cellular activity still goes through the bottom two antennas.
Moving the antennas has forced Apple to move the mute switch and volume rocker slightly, but enough to invalidate most form-hugging iPhone 4 cases. Pouches and other cases that aren't directly linked to the iPhone's button layout shouldn't be affected.
No SIM slot exists, ruling out the possibility that it would support world roaming or have a C-SIM slot to accommodate the desires (though not requirements) of southeast Asian carriers. CDMA phones can still be unlocked, but the practice is rarer and involves having to talk directly to the carriers to derestrict the phone if they have the available tools.
As is the case with all CDMA phones, EVDO data stops entirely in the middle of a call and prevents simultaneous voice and data when on 3G. Data can still run at the same time when using Wi-Fi, as was the case on the original iPhone. [image via BGR]