VZ vs. AT&T: iPhone 4 — fight, fight fight!

I’m going to switch up my usual tone…let’s get g33ky…

For those that don’t already know…I did it. I made the ultimate decision and commitment. I signed a contract. I got all dolled up for this event of epic proportions. I ended my 3 year relationship….with T-Mobile. I renounced my “animosity” towards iPhones. I agreed to marry AT&T and have an iPhone child. He is 4 years old. Okay, that’s enough. This just got weird.

I bought the iPhone 4. And yet…my company is a partner of Verizon who is due to receive the iPhone very shortly…why did I choose a rumored abuser — AT&T?

I had read multiple reports that addressed potential CDMA issues with iPhones and Verizon a few months ago when it was first announced that Verizon would indeed be receiving the iPhone for distribution. I work with a company that partners with Verizon and yet I chose AT&T. Who do I endorse?

Apparently a lot has changed in the past few months. First off, there isn’t a “wrong” decision here. It will just be a personal preference.

Both AT&T and Verizon are comparable in what they offer. I think the only possible thing that might give Verizon a real advantage is if they choose to offer an unlimited data plan, however, at this time that is yet to be confirmed.

Things in common:
  • iPhone is the same price on both networks.
  • “4G” networks are still being implemented and not available in most areas on either network (even if AT&T’s is exaggerated)
Pros for AT&T, cons for Verizon
  • Offers the ability to be on the phone and still use data services for messaging and web
  • Early upgrades as new iPhones become available (new iPhone 5 comes out and one may qualify for an upgrade)
  • iPhone is usable worldwide
Pros for Verizon, cons for AT&T
  • The ability to hold and maintain phone calls. (Though this is in dispute being that dropped calls are notoriously complained about on AT&T but the complaint is contingent upon the geographical area. Also, it is suspected that the dropped calls may be limited to AT&T iPhone users. Those who have had frequent dropped phone calls on AT&T with an iPhone and moved to Blackberry or Android have seen a drastic decrease in the amount of dropped calls. Question to ask oneself: Will this possible iPhone iFail be limited to AT&T or will VZ have the same results?)
  • WiFi hotspot ability offering tethering for up to 5 additional devices. (Obviously this is irrelevant for users that are comfortable with jailbreaking.)
  • Better customer service?
  • Cooler logo (Aesthetics do play a part here.)

It is also true that Verizon does offer a more reliable network with more 3G coverage geographically however AT&T covers about 75% of the US population.

Another noteworthy piece of information worthy of recognition: Android devices are running neck and neck with Blackberry and iPhone in this “dirty” technology race. [I dont’ know why I said dirty…it just feels like a good version of dirty 1337 fight in circuity flavored jello. That sounds disgusting. Blame my red bull. 3 of them thus far today. Yea. I know.] Google’s Android OS seems to be competing pretty heavily with BB in the enterprise environment being that 30% of new net devices were administered by CIOs in the 4th quarter last year. BB — or RIM has always been the top dog in this game. Followed by iPhone. Now followed by Android. Google is relentless and will quite possibly rule the world some day…a little frightening if you ask me. But they have a good product. Android is stable. It works. It’s popular. But not as popular as iPhone / iPad / iPod….yet. In this year alone CES has rumored and displayed somewhere between 10-15 total Android devices across multiple networks. Droidtablets (which are ridiculous in my opinion) are also becoming increasingly popular. What does this mean? It means more data users on both networks highlighted in this post, more bandwidth being absorbed and therefore more potential for dropped calls and data lag.

The New Year just begun. We all know how quickly the cellular networks get stopped up at midnight every first of the  year — all those users sending texts, emails, mms messages…what will happen with more and more data users on two of the largest networks in the US?

The answer is obvious: we don’t know. It is too soon to tell. But it is something to consider when making this decision.

The question I ask my clients is this: “Ultimately, how soon are you planning on jumping droid / BB ship?” If it’s not for a few weeks it might be wise to sit back and observe. Pre-orders for VZ are available Feb. 3rd which means the data plans should be announced around that time. iPhone’s will be available for purchase and use as of Feb. 13th. That’s only 2.5 weeks away.

Additional information can be found at the links below.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/01/verizon-or-att-iphone/all/1http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_04/b4212032854327.htm
http://www.product-reviews.net/2010/10/09/verizon-iphone-4-cdma-network-issues/
http://www.shellypalmer.com/2011/01/verizon-iphone-4-should-you-get-one-now/
http://www.informationweek.com/news/global-cio/interviews/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=229100252&cid=RSSfeed_IWK_All
http://www.thisgreenmachine.com/?p=879

***This post welcomes commentary***

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Comments 2

  • So. I had a comment to write. So i started to write it…and it got pretty long. And then my phone died. I come back to this page when i turn it back on, and everything i wrote was gone. So enjoy this comment now, and i’ll have to tell you my real comment in person…it was just a little constructive criticism 😉 <3 love you.

  • Nice writeup! I’m on AT&T and contemplating the switch. I think it will ultimately come down to individual users. Even in one city, AT&T and Verizon customers in different parts of town could have vastly different experiences.

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