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  • Ready to Jump from AT&T for Verizon iPhone. Not So Fast

    Posted on January 22nd, 2011 Shawn 1 comment

    Unless you have been under a rock this month, you know the illustrious iPhone 4 will be heading to Verizon on February 10. This will be the first time, since the original release of the iPhone in 2007, that the phone has been made available on a CDMA carrier (Verizon and Sprint are both CDMA carriers in the U.S.) This will also be the first time that an iPhone will get 3G data speeds outside of AT&T, in the U.S. (T-Mobile users have been able to use unlocked iPhones, but unable to get 3G speeds).

    There is a lot of rumbling that many people unhappy with AT&T’s service issues (that’s phone/data service, not customer service), will likely jump ship from AT&T for the greener grass of Verizon. If you are one of those people, there are a few major considerations you should be aware of before you make the big move.

    Simultaneous Data and Voice

    AT&T’s GSM network has the capability of simultaneous data and voice, whereas Verizon’s CDMA network does not. In a nut shell, on Verizon you cannot be on a call and use the Internet at the same time.  For example, if you are browsing the web with Safari and a call comes in, your internet connection is suspended until your call is over. Maybe it’s not a big deal to everyone, but it will be an issue for some.  What about using your favorite GPS app (like Tom Tom or Google Maps) while driving and talking on the phone at the same time.  Those GPS apps require a data connection to get traffic updates and re-routing. Remember, AT&T can do simultaneous data and voice, but Verizon can not.

    1st Generation iPhone

    Although this appears to be the 4th generation iPhone (aka iPhone 4) on Verizon, realize it is actually a 1st generation device.  This is the first CDMA iPhone, which uses very different cellular hardware radio’s than AT&T. CDMA phones do not use SIM cards, unlike AT&T. Also, the body of this new iPhone has been slightly modified, which includes the movement of the side-switch and what looks like the antenna. In essence, this is a 1st generation device…and anyone picking up this phone needs to be forewarned.  Although the software may be the same, the hardware is 1st generation and you will be the beta tester. Buyer beware.

    iPhone 5 Coming in June 2011

    Since 2007, Apple has launched a new AT&T iPhone every June. The expectation is that iPhone 5 (or possibly named iPhone 4G) will be released on AT&T in June 2011. What does that mean for Verizon? Will Verizon also get a new iPhone in June (just four months after their launch of iPhone 4)? Will Apple and Verizon create a new alternating release cycle, with AT&T getting a new iPhone every June and Verizon getting a new iPhone every February?  Apple isn’t returning any calls on those questions, as expected. I anticipate this February to be the only out of cycle launch of an iPhone, and in just 4 months a new Verizon iPhone will be launched. Would you want to be locked into an iPhone contract for 2 years, knowing the newer device is coming out this summer? On the flip side, what if Apple and Verizon decide to keep the Verizon iPhone’s release’s to February.  Would you, as a Verizon customer, be happy knowing you can’t get the new shiny iPhone of the year for seven months after it launches on AT&T?

    Wrap It Up

    Many people complain about AT&T’s spotty coverage and dropped calls, no matter which generation iPhone they use. I anticipate a lot of AT&T customer’s are looking to jump ship to Verizon in February for the iPhone. Before you do so, think about the topics mentioned above.  If any of them make you stop and pause, please think again before you hawk your old iPhone on eBay and rush to your nearest Verizon dealer.

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