iPhone 4 – Verizon vs AT&T

The iPhone 4 is nearly at Verizon’s door. Just a few more days and the pre-order will begin. As more details are being revealed about the iPhone at Verizon, one wonders if it is really a better deal than AT&T.

Verizon’s iPhone4 will be available for $200 for 16GB or $300 for 32GB. AT&T’s iPhone4 is available for $200 for 16GB and $300 for 32GB. Verizon will offer a personal hot spot for $20. AT&T offers Wi-Fi tethering for $20. Verizon will offer unlimited data for a limited time. AT&T has an unlimited plan for grandfathered customers, and a limited plan for everyone else. Verizon will follow suite. Seeing a pattern here? Verizon and AT&T are offering the same phone with the same pricing. So how do you choose your carrier?

Verizon is the largest US carrier. The size is partially due to the outdated CDMA network. It may be big, but it is not fast. Verizon does has some perks though. Rather than using hot spot access from your data plan, a separate 2GB is allocated for the feature. This will be helpful for conserving your data plan usage once the unlimited plan goes away. Verizon will have a lot less congestion on its network, so you probably won’t experience the major crashes that AT&T customers suffered as the iPhone rapidly increased in popularity. It’s not all roses at big red. Verizon can’t currently offer a simultaneous connection to voice and data services. This is a big deal.

AT&T, is on the more advanced GSM network, as is T-Mobile and virtually the rest of the world. AT&T has the fastest service, when it is actually available. . AT&T offers simultaneous voice and data services. AT&T’s huge coverage gaps are annoying, but recent upgrades have improved things, at least in the L.A. area. AT&T is even rumored to be offering unlimited data to those who opted out of the service last year. AT&T is trying to reduce the number of people jumping ship in February.

As you decide which carrier to go with, ask yourself a few questions. Do you want speed or reliability? The pricing is mostly identical. Do you want a fast network that is sometimes reliable, or a slow network that is typically reliable? Do you want to be able to check your email while talking on the phone, or not?

All of this might be moot, however, as Apple is expected to announce the next iPhone within the next couple of months. At the end of the day, the iPhone 4 is almost a year old. As much as I’d like to see a mass exodus from AT&T to benefit the rest of AT&T’s customers, you may want to think twice about signing up for a two-year commitment this close to the next version’s launch.

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