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While crowds circled the Soho Apple store on Friday evening (iPhone launch day, natch), this was the scene at the Verizon store only a few blocks away on Broadway. Yes, in a sad effort to try to draw in a customer or two, the store put out balloons. Verizon's other strategy for dealing with iPhone mania (aside from balloons) is the all-too-common plan of attacking their competition. AppleInsider got their hands on some of Verizon's internal documents which tell employees in what ways "...VZW more than holds its own against the iPhone." The company tells its reps to mention the battery issue, "Stay near a plug. The iPhone battery can't be removed by the user or swapped for spare" and pricing, "Watch your wallet. The cheapest iPhone is $499." Good luck with that, Verizon. The company is also debuting a new phone on Monday July 9th—the Chocolate from LG, which, from the Gizmodo writeup, doesn't sound too groundbreaking.
T-Mobile also made the news this week with a surprisingly exciting service plan, profiled today by Times gadget expert David Pogue. T-Mobile is offering customers a pretty sweet deal: as part of its new T-Mobile HotSpot@Home plan, you can pay an extra $10 a month and all calls made from an area with wifi will be free (because the calls will be carried by the internet). The company will also provide you with a router so that calls from your home won't count towards your minutes. Pogue's pretty bowled over by this latest move by T-Mobile, and frankly, we are too. With the iPhone, it's clear that AT&T is the mobile provider that's currently generating the most buzz, but T-Mobile's nipping on their heels. Verizon, the time to step up with an interesting/awesome gadget or plan is now.
· Verizon Wireless Launches an All-New Chocolate by LG [Gizmodo]
· Verizon to prospective iPhone buyers: 'Stay near a plug' [AppleInsider]
· IPhone-Free Cellphone News [NY Times]