Or should I say, hello ridiculously huge hint of a Verizon iPhone? It seems that Apple fanboys on the interweb are abuzz since being invited to a special Verizon event in New York City on 1/11/11 at 11 am. I think for most people, this is fabulous news! I know more than one person who has been waiting all year for Verizon to finally release the iPhone. They wanted a smart phone but because of their parent’s refusal to switch mobile plans (or let them get their own) they’ve been forced to settle for some version of the Droid. Or even worse, they’ve been forced to wait for the unidentified date of Verizon’s iPhone release.
Yet the wait appears to be close to an end. There seems to be a blackout on Apple employee vacations around February 3rd. Maybe for the launch? Either way, the end of the wait is near. And with the end of the wait comes a shift in the cell phone service on our campus.
Stanford quite fondly supports Apple. It’s obvious in the fact that every dorm comes equipped with numerous Apple desktops with all the software a little freshman can dream about. But something that seems to have developed without Stanford’s direct influence is At&t’s prominence. I’m not actually sure which came first, the iPhone or the cell phone towers, but not only are there more At&t users on campus, but it’s also a widely held knowledge that regardless of your phone type At&t also offers the best service. There were once rumors of a Stanford/At&t deal but there’s not enough evidence to support that idea. Apparently all service providers offer their best coverage here. Yet with Verizon getting in on the iPhone market, things may change.
I have no doubt that when the iPhone goes on the market for Verizon, many students will rush to buy it. And if there were more users, possibly running on upcoming 4G networks, it would be just rude if Verizon didn’t come around to fix their lackluster service. More iPhones, and better service for more students all around – it seems like a win-win situation, right?
Yet one of the things that has always surprised me was Stanford’s technological homogeneity. Considering the amount of engineers and general technological know-how on campus, it’s amazing how many people religiously buy Apple products. Our students are smart – some can defend their reasons for buying a Macbook Pro like an industry insider. Yet after trying to have novelty and variety in so many other areas, it’s funny how little we try different devices. So while this launch will give Verizon a big boost on campus, I can’t help but feel that all of us walking around with staring into the abyss of our iPhones deters from the uniqueness we love about our campus. It is just a phone and (that label is actually probably too simplistic for new smart phones) but Apple sells a lifestyle through its brand. We’re the perfect age group (teens and twenty somethings) living right next to the Silicon Valley. In a way, we may become some garish, living advertisement for Apple through its simple representation at our school. The iPhone may be cool and snazzy, but it’s still the same product for a very diverse student body.
EDIT: It’s official. Here’s some info on the Verizon iPhone.