So there you go, iPhone’s officially coming to the Verizon network. Everyone rejoice because whether you’re an Apple lover or hater, it’s good news for everyone. The mass exodus from AT&T to Verizon will lighten the load off of AT&T’s strained network drastically improving service for existing consumers. With the death of exclusivity, competition should kick in, forcing service providers to offer better services and prices.
So if you’re a dissatisfied iPhone AT&T user or one that’s been holding out for the Verizon iPhone, the question is, is it worth getting when it releases 2/10? Well, ultimately it’s going to vary per person, but here’s a few things to consider before you make any drastic decisions.
1 – Early Termination Fee: If you’re an exisiting AT&T consumer and still under contract (usually under two years of getting a new phone), you can be paying up to $325. Wolfram Alpha has a nifty calculator to determine what your fee would be. Once you’re done with that, you still have to buy a new iPhone, as the AT&T version won’t be compatible with the Verizon network.
2 – The Next iPhone: Apple tends to follow strict product cycles and timelines. The next iPhone iteration is slated for June of this year, about four months away from the release of the Verizon iPhone. While the iPhone 4 is a great phone, you might have an “outdated” product in only a few months time. If you’re all about getting the newest thing, it’s another reason to hold off.
3 – Network support: Verizon made some pretty bold moves, offering WiFi hotspot, which allows you to connect up to five devices. So not only will Verizon have to handle a flood of new iPhones on their network, these phones may be supporting several other devices piggybacking on their data network. In the meantime, AT&T’s service is expected to improve as users move to Verizon. Also, with AT&T’s exclusitivity agreement gone, there’s a chance that the iPhone may land on other networks, including Sprint and T-Mobile.
4 – CDMA: Since it’s on CDMA, it won’t be able to handle phone calls and data use at the same time. If you’re expecting to look up info or use data while calling, you’ll have to stick with AT&T. The device won’t be able to roam outside the U.S., where most other countries use GSM. The phone won’t be using Verizon’s 4G network, LTE either. While LTE is still limited to major cities, several phones have already announced that they will be working off the newer and faster network.
5 – Other Options: The iPhone is a fine phone with the largest app marketplace and support from third party developers. It’s incredibly easy to use and does everything it’s supposed to do extremely well. However, since the iPhone, there have been a fair amount of other phones that should be considered when shopping for a new smartphone. Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7 offer different designs, options, and capabilities that can trump the iPhone depending on the type of user you are. Especially in the heels of CES, it may be good to take another glance at the market before jumping to the iPhone.
The iPhone 4 for Verizon releases February 10th. Current Verizon customers can pre-order on February 3rd. It’s $199 for 16GB and $299 for 32GB but there hasn’t been any official word on plan pricing. Still you can expect many happy people a month from now.