Unless you have been living under a rock, or have been secluded from technology news, you have heard the news that Verizon will begin selling the iPhone 4 on February 3, 2001. This is great news to Verizon customers and anyone who wants an iPhone, but does not want the AT&T network. Although both phones are nearly identical, including pricing of $199 to $299 for a two-year contract, there are major differences between the networks.
Pros of the AT&T iPhone
Simultaneous Voice and Data
One of the major drawbacks with the Verizon network is that it does not allow simultaneous voice and data, which means you cannot surf the internet while placing or receiving a call. This feature is an important feature for those of us who multitask with our phones.
First off, the AT&T tiered data plans are a mixed bag, they range from $15 for 200 MB of data to $25 for 2 GB of data, according to the AT&T website. Although there is no unlimited data package, this is a great deal for lighter cell phone internet users because it is less than Verizon’s $30 unlimited flat rate unlimited plan. However, for the heavy users, this data restriction is an expensive option if you use more than 2 GB of monthly data. To put this into perspective the 200MB package allows for 20 minutes of streaming video, while the 2GB package allows for 200 minutes. Neither is great, but who watches hours of video on their phone anyway?
The AT&T network has numerous complaints from consumers fed up with dropped calls and network coverage. This occurred because of the tremendous data usage from iPhone and smartphone users, which is the theory behind limiting the data allowances. Keep in mind that is it plausible for Verizon to suffer from the same overwhelming data usage. However, the network is a mixed bag, we are not a fan of the AT&T coverage, but the unknown heavy data usage on Verizon is a cause for concern.
Pros of the Verizon iPhone
Verizon is the Rolls Royce of cell phone companies, it is expensive, but delivers the best coverage. Verizon currently offers data plans from $15 for 150MB or $30 for unlimited, according to the Verizon website. The iPhone 4 is one of the easiest to use smartphones and has an incredible internet browser. For those of us who hate data limitations, the $30 unlimited data package is a major reason to get an iPhone from Verizon. The Verizon network is superior, but does not offer simultaneous data and voice.
When Apple first debuted the iPhone 4, there was a major problem; the antenna was placed where users hold the phone, thus hurting reception. The Verizon iPhone has the antenna placed on a different location. I hope that this will improve reception, but it is still too early to tell.
Tethering or mobile hotspot allows you to use up to five devices from the phones 3G internet. This is great because it allows you to link multiple devices without worrying about a Wi-Fi connection in areas where you are limited to internet connections. However, this feature may cost an additional $20, which is the same fee on other Verizon phones. AT&T also has tethering; however, the data limits negate the benefit of this feature.
With AT&T and other cell phone companies expanding their data coverage to include 4G, which is the faster successor of the 3G network, the iPhone 4 still works on 3G. The reason this is important is that there are rumors that AT&T will receive the first iPhone 4G; however, Apple has not yet confirmed the rumors. If this is true, it may be worth the wait to purchase the faster iPhone when it is released.