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Verizon iPhone VS. AT&T iPhone: The Differences

EC70F22A-423F-4900-B7A9-4D63AB320DDC.jpgOk, The Verizon iPhone 4 has been announced. So, which carrier offers the better deal, and what are the differences between the two devices?

Well, for the end user, the devices are the same. Sure, they have different radios to accommodate the different networks, but the same features such as FaceTime, and the Retina Display are all the same on the new Verizon iPhone 4 at the same $199/$299 price points.

Now, things get a little sketchy when it comes to data plans. Of course, we know AT&T charges $15 a month for 200MB of data, $25 for 2GB a month, and 2GB with tethering at $45. Verizon has yet to release any pricing on the iPhone 4’s plans. Verizon on the other hand, has not announced pricing plans for the iPhone 4. The best point we have to guess the iPhone 4’s plan pricing, comes from the pricing for Verizon’s other smartphone plans. That is, $15 for 150MB, $29.99 for Unlimited data, and Unlimited data with 2GB of tethering at $49.99.

Both carriers offer Voice plans in the following intervals: $39.99 for 450 minutes, $59.99 for 900 minutes, and $69.99 for unlimited minutes. Text messages are a little different. AT&T offers 200 messages for $5, 1500 messages for $15, and Unlimited messages for $20. Verizon on the other hand, offers 250 messages at $5, 500 messages at $15, and 5000 messages for $20.

Here’s where things get a little weird. AT&T offers early upgrades at the launch of new iPhones. It doesn’t appear that Verizon will do the same. AT&T will offer global roaming, Verizon will not. AT&T (GSM networks in general) allow for simultaneous 3G/voice data usage, Verizon’s network (CDMA) can’t. Neither network offer 4G service at this time, and their’s no indication that they will anytime soon.

Here are the two maps of each respective network’s coverage area.




So, the single biggest difference, to my eyes, is the networks themselves. Duh. But, what I mean by that is more specific- coverage. Verizon has coverage in areas that AT&T simply doesn’t, mainly rural areas. Also, some heavily populated metro areas that have been plagued with problems with AT&T’s network may also find some relief on Verizon’s network.

Verizon has done a lot of chest thumping as of late, claiming that their network can handle the traffic load that the iPhone might bring with it. I’ll wait with baited breath in anticipation of this panning out. If I had to guess, there network will have some trouble too. Only time will tell.

My thanks to Killian Bell with research help.

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  • The screenshot of the at&t map you used is skewed because it doesn’t differentiate between 3G and EDGE. You have to zoom in a little to see the different shades of blue that indicate 3G or EDGE, and then you REALLY see the holes in at&t’s 3G coverage.

  • Alex Jordan

    You’re absolutely right. However, I used that map to represent all of AT&T’s coverage, not just their 3G service. Otherwise, yeah their service would look pretty thin,

  • Toto

    The “good news” is only for two groups of people, Verizon current customers, and sprint users (now they have the illusion that they will be able to jailbreak that iphone to use it in their network.
    For At&t customers, who already have an iPhone, I don’t think it will represent such a big change, the cost is the same, and loose those GSM capabilities doesn’t make sense at all.
    I dont have any problems with the network, the ONLY thing I will envy from Verizon is the unlimited data plan, cause I have only the 2GB.