There is so much to consider before choosing between Verizon and AT&T, until now the iPhone’s exclusive U.S. carrier.
AT&T has enjoyed an exclusive partnership with the iPhone since the smartphone’s 2007 release. Since then, it’s seen monstrous success, signing up tens of millions of subscribers.
Still, complaints of dropped calls on AT&T tainted the success…I know my friends on Verizon are always giving me grief about my iPhone reception.
The question now for me and thousands like me…should we make the leap?
There is much to take into account first, like price plans…
In a bid to attract lots of early switchers, Verizon is allowing iPhone 4 buyers to lock into the carrier’s $30 unlimited data plan with a two-year contract; a big gift, considering how much more data smartphone users will likely gobble up two years from now.
The carrier is not saying how long the unlimited data offer will last — a clear attempt to lock in as many iPhone users as they can early on.
AT&T did away with an unlimited data plan for new customers last summer. In its place, the carrier made tiers of data plans, with 2 GB of data for $25 a month at the top level.
AT&T is said to be quietly allowing some existing customers to go back to an unlimited data plan on the iPhone.
An AT&T spokeswoman couldn’t confirm that. I have unlimited thank goodness, once AT&T accidentally took me off for a billing cycle and my bill increase literally $500! To their credit they fixed it. “We handle customers and their situations individually, and we’re not going to discuss specifics,” spokeswoman Amy Grundman said.
Verizon is offering trade-in deals for existing iPhone users on AT&T. iPhone 4 users can get a pretty decent credit — $212 for a 16 GB model and $285 for a 32 GB model — toward a Verizon phone. Previous generation iPhone owners, and any other phone owner, also can get smaller credits.
Hmm, do I want reliable Reliable or Fast?
While Verizon’s network is more reliable, AT&T’s 3G network is faster. Sometimes much faster. That means, when you have service, users are often able to download files and access websites much faster than they could on Verizon.
With data usage increasing enormously, this is an important consideration.
The networks are built on different wireless standards. AT&T uses GSM and Verizon uses CDMA. Users shouldn’t necessarily care about that except for one point: AT&T’s GSM network allows for simultaneous voice and data. That means you can’t access the Web on your Verizon iPhone while making a phone call without the aid of WiFi.
The Verizon iPhone will not run on the carrier’s next-generation faster LTE network.
Those rushing to scoop up the iPhone 4 this week on Verizon should remember that they’re buying a phone that’s more than 7 months old, an eon in the smartphone sphere.
Details on the next iPhone expected this summer are scant;Apple never comments on future product releases — but expect a much faster processor and possibly high-definition video output.
That’s also not to mention the slate of 4G-compatible smartphones that are set to be available as early as this spring from Verizon.
So what should you do?
If you really want an iPhone but can wait, hold out for the iPhone 5 (or whatever Apple decides to call it). Locking in for two more years with a phone released last summer isn’t going to get the most bang for your buck.
But if you’re someone who doesn’t need the latest and the greatest — and have been waiting on the Verizon iPhone for years — go ahead. Just don’t cry too loudly when the masses line up this summer to snatch up Apple’s latest offering, and you’re left with last year’s gadget.
I am holding out for the iPhone 5