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Why I Won’t Get The Verizon iPhone? (Updated)

by Tom Moccia | January 11, 2011January 11, 2011 10:18 am PDT

Well unless you have been living under a rock the last few months you now know that Verizon has landed the iPhone. It officially went down today in New York, fitting considering one of the biggest announcements in this countries cellular business takes place in the media mecca.

The announcement was pretty uneventful as not much is changing from AT&T’s version of the iPhone, with the exception of the included hotspot capability. This feature will enable you to connect up to five devices to the iPhone for internet access. The antenna has been modified a bit, but according to Tim Cook, COO of Apple, that is entirely due to the nature of CDMA not “antennagate”.

So now the question remains, “Will you get the Verizon iPhone 4?”, whether you are with AT&T and are tired of the perceived unreliable network, or are a current Verizon customer using another device, a decision you must make. As an AT&T customer, I have personally struggled with this decision for quite some time. We all knew this day would come, but I have a few major reasons why I am not switching to Verizon for my iPhone fix, and the lack of LTE is not one of them.

First, the one feature AT&T offers that Verizon has yet to imitate is “Rollover Minutes”, the ability to carry over unused minutes from your plan this month, and add them to next months minute allotment. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you consider I have three lines on my account it’s nearly impossible to keep track of monthly minutes used. I have so many rollover minutes at this point I never even consider the possibility of overage charges.

Verizon data rates are considerably higher. In the Verizon media event there was no mention of special iPhone data pricing, so when you compare, Verizon customers will pay $15 for 150MB of data transfer, and $29.99 for unlimited. This compared to AT&T’s $15 for 200MB and $25 for 2GB. Yes I know AT&T doesn’t offer unlimited data on iPhone unless you originally had that plan and kept it on your account, but frankly I am a power user and rarely go over 2GB.

The hotspot feature on the Verizon iPhone is a novel idea but considering CDMA will not transfer both voice and data simultaneously, I don’t see this being much use to me. Imagine sitting at Starbucks diligently working on whatever it may be, connected to data, and you boss needs to get a hold of you to close an important deal. Back in 2007, before we started using smartphones to their potential, the fact we couldn’t transfer data and talk on the phone at the same time wasn’t a big deal. Now the lack of that capability has become more of an annoyance from what Verizon customers have expressed to me.

Finally, for the most part, in my neck of the woods I have been happy with AT&T, yes there is an occasional dead spot as all carriers have, but all in all, it’s been pretty good all things considered. Now if I decided to relocate to another area of the country, I would definitely have to evaluate network performance, and I can tell you the AT&T network left much to be desired in Las Vegas during CES.

The popularity of the iPhone would have crippled any network in 2007-2008 as no one would have predicted the popularity of the iPhone. It will be fun to see how this all shakes out for both carriers, but at this point I am sticking with AT&T, although it’s nice to know I have another option if I ever decide to go that route.

So, readers are you jumping off the AT&T ship and grabbing yourself a Verizon iPhone? As a current Verizon customer will you be ditching your current handset and grabbing an iPhone? Inquiring minds want to know in the comments below.

NOTE: I want to thank the TechnoBuffalo readers for pointing out that if you are using data CDMA will prioritize phone calls, put the data on hold and then resume data where you left off. CDMA will also allow you to receive a text while on a call and while transferring data. Thank you all for the clarification.


Tom Moccia

Tom Moccia is a native of Stamford, Connecticut and moved his family west in 2000 and now calls Stockton, California home with his wife and two...

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