Now that the release of Verizon’s own iPhone 4 is approaching, long-standing fans of the AT&T equivalent may be nervously biting their nails, wondering if “the switch” is worthwhile. Changing camps means getting a whole new phone and a whole new cell plan, and in the end you’ll just be using the same device you already have. But maybe you’re simply fed up with AT&T, and are willing to pay the price of escape. Even so, you’d better be sure you know what you’re in for.
handy calculator. If the result makes you queasy, know that it will gradually deflate by $10 each month.
voice plans are identical to AT&T’s, and both providers have a $20/month unlimited text messaging option. If you don’t need that much texting, the Verizon $5/month for 250 option might save you a few dollars, although their $10/month plan gives you only 500 to AT&T’s 1000 texts.
Since we’re talking about the iPhone, of course, the real question is how switching will affect your data. Verizon is offering a $30 unlimited plan, but only for now, so if you get in quick you could get grandfathered into that deal. AT&T dropped their unlimited data package months ago, but customers who had it prior to the change are similarly grandfathered in-in fact, there is also an unadvertised loophole allowing AT&T subscribers to move back to the all-you-can-eat option if they’ve ever had it before.
So if you got your iPhone 4 after the new data options hit, moving to Verizon offers you the chance to go unlimited. If you’ve ever had that sort of plan on AT&T, though, you’ve still got the option without jumping ship. But Verizon does offer hotspotting capability for an additional $20/month, while AT&T only gives you tethering for that same price.
Moving to Verizon’s network also carries certain disadvantages, even if their coverage and dropped-call rates have a better reputation. Your new iPhone 4 won’t use SIM cards, so changing phones won’t be nearly as simple. Also, the Verizon network doesn’t support simultaneous data and phone connections, so no more pausing a conversation to look up a web page the way you used to on AT&T.