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Why I Won’t Buy the Verizon iPhone


In case you missed it, which I’m sure you haven’t, Verizon announced that the iPhone 4 will be available on their network as soon as February 3rd for current customers, and February 10th for new customers. While most other countries have multiple wireless providers carrying the iPhone, this is the first time that the iPhone has been officially available on a wireless provider in the U.S. besides AT&T.

I’ve been using an iPhone 4 on AT&T’s network since the week that the iPhone 4 was released and I have never been more frustrated. I constantly experience dropped calls in New York City. And just this past week in Vegas, 3G data didn’t work at all during CES nor did calls work 90% of the time. Yet already reviews of Verizon’s iPhone are starting to come in which claim that the Verizon iPhone doesn’t suffer from the infamous iPhone 4 death grip issue. And Verizon is very eager to prove that their network will handle iPhone traffic better than AT&T’s.

So I’m super frustrated with my iPhone 4 running on AT&T’s network, so why won’t I switch to Verizon?

Contract, Shmontract

For starters, there is a two year contract holding me back somewhat. But what is really forcing me to stay with AT&T is the fact that AT&T’s iPhone 4 is GSM based. That means that although it’s somewhat difficult, it is possible to unlock AT&T’s iPhone 4, and I couldn’t live without that ability – since I do a fair amount of traveling abroad and don’t want to leave my iPhone behind. Furthermore, I already own quite a large selection of iPhone 4 cases, and most of them wont fit the new Verizon iPhone. The thought of having to invest in a new iPhone wardrobe isn’t very enticing.

The Verizon iPhone is running iOS 4.2.5 with built-in support for transforming your iPhone into a mobile hotspot with support for up-to 5 devices at the same time. That is definitely a useful feature to have. But I’ve already accomplished that by jailbreaking my iPhone and using an app called MyWi. As for Verizon’s pricing, their pricing for the iPhone handsets and accompanying voice plans are virtually identical to that of AT&T. Had Verizon offered more competitive pricing, I might have been drawn in. Sure, their $30 unlimited data plan for the iPhone is more attractive than AT&T $25 2GB plan, but fortunately I’m still grandfathered in on AT&T’s older Unlimited data plan.

At the end of the day, I’m really fed up with AT&T’s iPhone service and the iPhone 4’s reception issues, yet I won’t be standing in line to get the Verizon iPhone. I’m going to stick with AT&T till iPhone 5 comes out. That said, if you aren’t an AT&T iPhone user, and you have been impatiently waiting for the Verizon iPhone to be released, your time has finally come. Meanwhile, I’m really hoping that Verizon and AT&T start offering contract free / prepaid iPhones and plans. And if I could have one more wish granted, it would be that T-Mobile gets the iPhone too. But I’ve been around long enough to know that lightning doesn’t strike twice.