Is frag bomb on VZ iPhone “nasty beast,” or bunch of hooey?

Feb 9, 2011
Finance

James Kendrick in ZDNet said a GPS program had to be modified from AT&T’s (T) iPhone to work on Verizon Wireless’ (VZ) iPhone due out on Thursday. He dropped a frag bomb on “a nasty beast” that would make the iPhone market fragmented and similar to that for Android from Google (GOOG). But a counterpoint […]

James Kendrick in ZDNet said a GPS program had to be modified from AT&T’s (T) iPhone to work on Verizon Wireless’ (VZ) iPhone due out on Thursday. He dropped a frag bomb on “a nasty beast” that would make the iPhone market fragmented and similar to that for Android from Google (GOOG).

But a counterpoint from TechCrunch questions whether that’s all a bunch of nonsense.

Up to now, apps for iPhone were presented as one big happy family. After all, they were being approved and sold only for AT&T, which has had the iPhone monopoly since 2007. This all changes come Thursday when the Verizon iPhone hits the market.

Kendrick noted that Telenav had one GPS app for AT&T and another for Verizon.

“The navigation app is similar to the original Navigator app for the AT&T iPhone, but works on the Verizon handset only. On the surface it may appear to be a new app version to deal with the difference in telco, but according to a conversation with Telenav that is not the case,” he said.

He added that Telenav said that the VZ iPhone required app modifications to enable it to work with the Verizon iPhone hardware. Was it because of differences in the radio technology used in the phones? AT&T uses GSM, while Verizon uses CDMA. Or maybe the chipset used for GPS?

Telenav isn’t saying what it needed to do to transform the “AT&T Navigator” for use on the VZ iPhone, other than obviously altering the name.

READ  BitUniverse - Everything You Need In a Crypto App

Kendrick worries that that if two versions of some apps are required that this will “fragment” development and support of  apps for iPhone, making the market a mirror of what happens in the Android market. He calls fragmentation “a nasty beast.”

But MG Siegler in TechCrunch has a different take.

“But wait, I’ve been using the Verizon iPhone for about two weeks now as I tested it for my review. I’ve used dozens of apps on the new hardware and haven’t once found an app that would not work. This includes several location apps which make use of the phone’s GPS chip. They all work, unmodified,” said the blogger.

While “fragmentation looming” sounds scary and makes for a sexy headline, it’s “complete nonsense from my perspective,” concluded Siegler.

As with the rest of the Verizon iPhone hype, we’ll know what’s happening in a few days.

Search for more

Howard Wolinsky

Howard Wolinsky is a Chicago freelance writer specializing in health and tech topics. He covered those beats for the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Home Apps Games