TiPb TV 12: Should you get the Verizon iPhone?

Yes unicorns and the color white are still mythical but now at last the Verizon iPhone is real -- so should you get it? There are a lot of factors to way including network, new iPhone models, and costs, and all of that is the topic for this episode of our video show, TiPb TV!

We're getting a lot of questions from Verizon feature phone users considering getting their first iPhone, Droid or BlackBerry users thinking about joining the light side, and AT&T iPhone users just bursting to make the switch. AT&T or Verizon, which should you choose? Do you need simultaneous voice and data and international roaming or is reliability and US coverage more important to you? Are you still on a contract and are you willing to pay the early termination fee? Can Verizon really handle the iPhone? And once you decide would you be better off waiting for Apple to release an iPhone 5 this June?

Rene and I go over the options and help you decide. So hit the video above and watch along, then tell us what you choose to do in the comments!

TiPb TV 12: Should you get the Verizon iPhone?

Georgia

Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, hosts the ZEN & TECH podcast, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Prime.

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TiPb TV 12: Should you get the Verizon iPhone?

68 Comments

I know you guys love to act like this is a real TV show, but if anybody out there has a brain, they would know that it would be absolutely, horrifically retarded to get the Verizon iPhone 4.
The smart thing to do wait for the Verizon iPhone 5 because:
1) Engadget says it will be a redesigned phone with a dual-core A5 processor that "runs 1080p like water".
2) You have 4-5 solid months to monitor whether complete, utter imbeciles, also known as the buyers of the Verizon iPhone 4, have any problems with CDMA while using their phone. These people of below-average intelligence will be our guinea pigs who test the network for us so we can make an informed decision.

Average mainstream consumers often could care less about product cycles. After iPhone 4 was announced there were still tons of people buying iPhone 3GS at Apple Store and when I asked them why they weren't waiting they almost always said they didn't care, they needed a phone now, and the new one didn't really have features that made any difference to them.
My sister for example uses her iPhone to make calls and play music. That's pretty much it. She's still using an iPhone 2G and will upgrade when that breaks, exactly when that breaks, regardless of the product cycle at the time.
Other people will buy iPhone 4 on Verizon now, then buy iPhone 5 in June and give iPhone 4 to a family member.
Your reasons and opinion are exactly that -- yours. Others may vary.

Well said! I am one of those people who will be purchasing the iphone 4 when it is available for Verizon, then I will give it to my wife if the iphone 5 is available this summer for Verizon. To me it matters to have the newest ihpone available but to my wife she could care less. Plus we still don't know if Verizon will even get the new one this summer so I don't want to wait and and then find out that it won't be availabe until February for Verizon.

There won't be a CDMA iPhone 5. The next Verizon iPhone will be 4G/LTE, announced in about a year, and available by mid 2012. That's my prediction, and I'm sticking to it :)

Lol. Um. No. Cdma/gsm 3g iphone 5 in june/ july. The "4g" will be here a year from then. Lol. Do u not read anything?

you are absolutely right about average mainstream consumers.. that's why I always say Avg mainstream consumers could care less if their Samsung Galaxy S is still on 2.1

Normally, that's the same reasoning I'd follow -- if it were really a new product.
But in this case, IMO it will probably be about a year before any better iPhone comes to Verizon, the iPhone4 itself already works well, the antenna has been redesigned, and neither CDMA nor Verizon handling smartphone traffic is something new; nor is the Qualcomm chipset new. And it will come with a 30-day return/exchange policy, so if it's as bad as that AT&T iPhone I tried, it will go back in exchange for an Android phone until the next VZ iPhone.
And it has a warranty, the Apple Store is just a few miles away, and the Verizon store is 2 blocks away. So what's to worry about??

If any of you think that Apple will make a Verizon iPhone 5, you obviously don't know how Apple works. The iPhone 5 will be a GSM only and it will look just like the iPhone 4 except with the improved antenna design thats on the Verizon iPhone....plus a few improvements (ie 3GS).
Can you imagine all the extremely pissed off people who just bought the Verizon iPhone 4 only to have it updated four month later??? That's not Apple at all.
Apple will get back on their once a year schedule next year for both versions of the iPhone and probably offer either a iPhone 6 World phone and or a LTE version for both carriers in June 2012.
The whole Verizon iPhone released in February is just to get it out NOW like Mr Cook said. That won't be the yearly refresh date for Verizon's iPhone.
My 2 cents........;-)

So I shouldn't by a product that's useful to me this month, because in 6 months there will probably be a better one on the market?
I actually happen to agree. That's why I haven't bought a cell phone ever. I'll buy one when the market stabilizes and tech companies stop coming out with better products.

And you, Gaius, being a person with a brain, are making the colossal assumption (as are many bloggers and commenters out there) that Verizon will get the iPhone 5 right away when it is available in June.
Sure, there will be early adopters, I may even pay full retail, then sell my iphone 4 (to a person without a brain, obvi) and upgrade to the iPhone 5 next January when I get my upgrade from Verizon.
So let these nice folks have their internet TV show. And let the people that want it have their iPhone 4. We all know the only idiots in all of this are using Windows Phone 7.

Regardless of whether or not Verizon gets the iPhone 5 in June, people can either:
a) continue to wait for the best version to come out
b) waste their money on the iPhone 4 even after seeing the new redesign and upgrades, making them a bigger idiot than before.
Therefore, my first post still stands, unblemished by your politically correct reply.

Gauis,
It doesn't make someone an idiot for choosing an iPhone 4 on Verizon. What makes you think that specs alone make for a great smartphone experience? The iPhone 4 is a great solution for people who either ATT doesn't work for and for those Verizon people who want the Apple ecosystem experience. The iPhone 4 is plenty fast with the 1GHZ A4, 512mb of RAM, and the retina display is unmatched by any other commercially available smartphone.
Sure, people like us will always want the "latest and greatest", but I have no qualms recommending the iPhone 4 to both new and existing Verizon customers wanting to break into the Apple ecosystem.

JNGold,
All people want to know about are specs. We have an article for every tiny detail of the next iPhone spec, no matter how unfounded. The only reason to buy an iPhone lesser than the current one is because they can't afford it.
However, I will also argue that it would be idiotic if somebody were to buy an iPhone 4 with a glass back over an iPhone 5 with better internals and a back made of a stronger material, assuming they could afford both phones.

@ Gaius yo really think you know it. If you are so smart, why are you not the top marketing exec? Geeks care about specs, the average consumer either cares about status or usability. My wife lover her iPhone 4, and could care less about iPhone 5 and its specs. Many also still use their 3Gs' and 3G's. Sorry, most people don't care about specs except for the buzz words.

Apple sells 150,000 iPhones every day to people who don't care about the next version.
Since Apple always puts out a new iPhone in June... is it only safe to buy an iPhone in July/August?
You forget that after 2 years with a phone... whatever phone you get next is better.

Hey guys, doesnt anyone think that this episode would have been served better by having people on that actually use ATT and/or Verizon? Just sayin.

Jerry, fair point. When the Verizon iPhone actually launches we'll make sure to get an international correspondent on with updates from the field, live death grip tests, and then call them to knock their Skype video off the air :)
(Sorry, couldn't resist. I do think there's validity to that but it hits my irony button given how many American anchors/editors cover international news so often.)

Good job gaius, you have brought nothing to this topic, much like my post pointing out you are an idiot.

I'm so tired of this whole iphone ATT/VZW discussion. It just seems the same sites talk about the same things (but with different people) over and over.

From experience working at Apple, it's very very safe to say that most people in the US do not unlock their iPhone or even have clue what unlocking is. Because of that I don't really see the difference is between GSM and CDMA as far as international roaming is concerned. In my mind this puts GSM and CDMA in the same playing field seeing that most people do not want to incur international roaming charges so they do not use their phone anyway. I think that some people on forums just want to have something to make a stink about so they choose battles that are non-existent without looking at things realistically. The greatest thing about the new Verizon iPhone is that we are now one step closer to having more choices. If At&t works better for you then get At&t, if Verizon works better for you then Get Verizon.

Techman, you're forgetting one little thing. You can't do voice and data at the same time on Verizon CDMA (all CDMA?). That's going to put a crimp on the WiFi hotspot Verizon is touting, when it disconnects as a phone call comes in. Or your mapping program stops following your route, etc.

I'm a Verizon customer. I will be getting the Verizon iPhone.
The iPhone is now one of the phones that Verizon sells... just like any of the other phones in their stable.
It's funny how no one brings up the "voice and data" argument when someone is thinking about any of the Droids or the Fascinate or whatever...

You don't miss something until its gone. If you're a Droid user and move to iPhone on Verizon you won't experience any difference. If you're an AT&T iPhone 4 user and switch to Verizon, and you're used to using voice and data, you'll notice it missing.

I currently have verizon with a droid incredible. I am very happy with the phone with exclusion of battery life and constant tinkering to even keep 4-6 hours of life. I will be getting the verizon iphone on launch, because the iphone 4 software is alot more stable than the current droid. As far as applications go, 90% of them are cross platform now anyway.

Should you get an iPhone of verizon? No. There is a number of reasons why. It's funny because a lot of my friends got the iPhone not because they needed the best smartphone available, but to get away from verizon's absolutely horrible phones and customer service.

Well, that depends who's ranking you are looking at. There are other ranking services that do not put VZW's customer service at #1.

I have been using a Moto Droid on Verizon since it came out, and noted the three main reasons I won't be switching to an iPhone on a different site. But as Renee and Georgia point out, everyone has their own use cases and have to make their own assessments.
One thing to note - while a big deal has been made about the no-simul-data&phone thing of Verizon, EVERYONE with an Android or Blackberry device on Verizon are dealing with that now, and like so many other things in life ... you learn to adapt.
Just had to say - enjoy the episodes!

about Verizon being able to handle the Iphone:
Verizon has a bunch of Android phones and their networks have not suffered ..and studies have shown that Android users USE MORE DATA than Iphone users.. which is pretty much understandable.. since Android users does complete multitasking unlike Iphone's limited multitasking .. also Android users tend to be more tech savvy than Iphone users... so they're more likely to use more data

You did not hit on the fact that ATT may/will get the New iPhone 5, and Verison may not, and will just have the 4 until Feb of 2012...this is a very real Posibility..... Also, who wil get the iPad 2, (cell and phone equiped) will it be both, or just ATT???
Ls

This has nothing to do with the iPhone or switching to Verizon (don't care personally since I'm perfectly happy with ATT), but the term is "could NOT care less," not "could care less." The latter suggests it would be possible to be less interested in the subject, but the point of the expression is to emphasize that it matters so little to you that you could NOT be less interested, as in: "I could NOT care less about your grammar lesson." (There, I saved some clever person the trouble of saying it.)
OK, feel free to return to arguing over which faceless, corporate wireless provider loves you most.

Funny how people are stating that the next iPhone for Verizon won't have CDMA and blah blah blah. How do you plan to make phone calls? LTE doesn't have a current spec for voice, so it's data only. Any LTE based phone still uses CDMA for the voice portion. Until they make a spec to carry voice and implement it, LTE is data only. CDMA is going to be around for awhile until LTE is fully deployed 100% and voice can be carried on it.

I am a retired Engineer and now travel quite a bit around the good USA. AT&T will not work in many of the "remote" areas of the States and Verizon just does. Sorry AT&T fanboyz. My pick will be Verizon.

Well, as a "retired Engineer" I find your comments interesting. Having roomed with engineering majors in college, having a brother in-law that is an engineer and know engineers your comment does not sound like one coming from an engineering background. First why do you capitalize "Engineer"? Second as @Jeff Higgins points out the use of fanboyz, and finally you provide absolutely no technical support. Were you a "Stationary Engineer" (not a slam on anyone who is)?

A lot depends on Verizon's iPhone and LTE plans. Verizon refuses to release detals thought it seems a sure bet that LTE plans will be capped and metered.

If there is one suggestion I could make it would be for Rene. Please talk a little slower. The mic quality as is wasn't the best.

The verizon iPhone makes it interesting and a little better for the consumer because there should be more competition which always is best for the consumer! Plus your host Georgia is smoking hott!!! And I love your guys tv show you should be on g4!!!

A few corrections to some of your misinformation.

  1. If a call comes in on a CDMA line your data connection doesn't just die. You have the option to answer the phone or not answer it. Data does not stop transferring in or out until you make the decision to actually answer the call. So things you are doing are not just interrupted.
  2. AT&T theoretical max is 14.4 Mbps, which they have NEVER come close to. However, something to note is that the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS theoretical max is 7.2 Mbps.

My recommendation to anyone who reads this, check your local map coverage and choose based on that as well as based on some people you know from your area. Get whatever has the best service for you.

@Steve Woz, a correction to your misinformation.

  1. No one said it just dies literally, it does die if you decide accept the voice call then your data connection does "just die." Most people with average intelligence understood that.
  2. You are correct on the data speeds but neglect to mention that Verizon's EVDO Rev. A also never reaches its theoretical high speed either and GSM is faster.

Let's get all the information corrected and all the fact, what do you say Woz?

Does this mean that iPhones on the verizon will have more g's and will be able to catch the wifi's from the sky? If so I wants it!!!

When eligible for a VZ re-up discount around the time they get the iPhone4, I'm definitely getting SOMETHING new. Because it's currently the overall best option, I'll be going with the iPhone4. If the iPhone5 comes out in 6 months, and it's that much better, it can be bought full-price and then the iPhone4 can be sold for about 2/3 its full price. So that's not a big expense to upgrade, and is worth that to have the best phone for those 6 months instead of my outdated BlackBerry.

OK so I’m in quite of a dilemma, as im sure many of you are as well. I have a 3gs and have been holding out and i have to admit its been pretty tough. my contract for att is up in july but im not sure if apple will release the iphone 5. idk what to do as far as which iphone to purchase and with what network. i was wondering if any of you were in my shoes and what would you guys do. be good guys =)

Can I Use my current iphone on Verizon?
No.If you want to switch carriers and you already have an iPhone, you'll have to buy a new one that works on Verizon's network. Verizon uses CDMA while all previous iPhones manufactured up until this point
(whether from the US, Canada, Europe, or even Asia) come equipped with GSM capabilities, and the two technologies don't
mix.

Until 3 years ago, I was a Verizon Merit Customer for almost 10 years.
I used a Windows PDA on Verizon. Customer service was great towards me.
However, the almost anti-PDA position along with Verizon's NET Terms of Agreements made them very un-appealing. My PDA failed 4 days before
the iPhone 3G was on sale ... I switched.
I also want to say that "where" you live should be a huge factor or determinant on what Service Provider you select regarding performance and service quality.
Where I lived Verizon had/has the best voice quality. ATT is not
as good ... didn't know that at the time.
However, ATT 3G services were way better than Verizon's. If you do data roaming and voice ... it works very well with ATT as I am now very used to this capability.
It also appears that the Data/Voice plans between ATT and Verizon are not
too different ... meaning they both do not treat txt msg as part of the data stream ... rather a separate $$$ service.
I love technology and I love to hack things ... for me it is cool to
be able to dual-boot your iPhone (although it is very rough to do).
The iPhone has been the best Smartphone I have ever owned. However, the OSX/software/application policy employed by Apple reduces the iPhone to a "Consumer Display" device ... not a "Creative" device.
I want to be able to play flash ... I want to be able to create content and dev apps that will not be judged by some mystical process only to be rejected ... not because it is a unsafe app or insensitive in some way ...
So ... as a user, currently I am looking at both service providers.
I will stay with ATT, but I am now looking at that Atrix ... yes contemplating switching to the Android platform.
Regards,

Everyone assumes that all future versions of the iPhone will be available on Verizon as they are released. When the truth is that the iPhone 4, and only the 4, has been announced as a Verizon option. It is very likely that the iPhone 5 will be an AT&T exclusive. Whatever happens, should be fun to watch unfold in the next year!

I dont live in a big city but even still i find a few areas that i get bad ATT reception. however. i think i've only ever dropped 4 or 5 calls. That being said, I am perfectly happy with my iPhone 4 and ATT as my carrier.
the customer service and support is top notch compared to my girlfriends experience with damaged/replacement phones and unsatisfactory customer service through Verizon. which was my fear for years. horrible support, long wait times, repairs vs replacements, etc...
now. strictly from the iPhone standpoint. the CDMA allowing no data while using the phone is such a dealbreaker its not even funny.
how can you utilize the potential of the iphone when you literally cant multitask??
if i were a new customer looking for an iphone i would ONLY choose Verizon as my carrier if ATT had absolutely no reception at my residence or work. in between those two places are not a big deal to me.
i like playing with my phone. all the time. downloading, calling, facetiming, playing games, facebooking, tweeting. i USE my phone so much i have to charge it every single night.
i feel like the GSM vs CDMA issue is simply a one-sided beatdown for a phone like this.
ATT all the way!

Verizon iPhone.... When I spoke with Verizon in the last few days, they did not seem to have much info re: data plans and what would happen if I bought this version and 3-4 months later they come out with a new version. One thing that I am amazed at is why the 32g iPhone costs $100 more than the 16g version given the price declines for memory - Can't they price the 32g more reasonably? Also I have several hundred dollars worth of apple gift cards, however, I cannot use those at verizon, and since I am eligible for a Verizon "new in 2" credit, I cannot leverage that at apple. For two companies that are so focused on the customer, one would think this would be easier....Unless they can be more customer centric with the launch, I am inclined to hang on to my crackberry a bit longer. It's a shame that they cannot be more flexible- they are leading me to a wait and see decision.

Rene,
What are the chances of an iPhone 5 coming out this June? I currently have an iPhone 3GS and I'm eligible to upgrade after January 25th even though my contract isn't up until August 2011. I heard strong rumors that the iPhone 4 would actually have a longer lifespan? I'm excited to upgrade to the iPhone 4 but I'm not sure if it's smarter to wait till June. Please advise.
-Dave Alonso

I do not know if this is the correct forum but you all are far more technically component than I. I am on Verizon, have a Blackberry and travel internationally about six times per year. So, I carry a second phone using local sims for calls but depend on my blackberry for e-mails. My kids have I-phones and I can see that most everything about an I-phone is better than the BB. However, I have always heard that the Blackberry is better for e-mails. Any comment would be great. My company has about thirty Verizon accounts and I am the prez, so cost is not my focus. BTW Verizon service is much better virtually everywhere.

Blackberry is getting much better about offering sim card slots for those CDMA users traveling internationally, which allows you to stay on VZW and still make your occassiional international trips. For me, at the end of the day, most Americans don't even own a passport, much less travel globally on a regular basis, so I think the CDMA vs GSM argument is only applicable to a small portion of the US, most of them businessmen like yourself. However, when you compare the current network, growth plans and the company's resources to fulfill those plans on a timely manner, VZW is the only choice. AT&T has sat around, relying on its iPhone contract for the last decade and now they are rushing to provide their customers the service they should have provided from the start. VZW has the resources and the plan to make its promises happen quickly and once LTE rolls out, AT&T will be worth as much as Cricket, network wise.

Several more thoughts:
- When I was with Verizon, we did have the New in 2 phone upgrade ... well ... "how is that going to work now for Verizon iPhone users" ... I tend to think .... you're still
dealing with Verizon's business culture.

  • I do not think that the iPhone 5 released in June or so will be on Verizon ...
    1. The current 4G or LTE chips are rather large ... it does not make sense to
      shrink the iPhone (since that is likely what Apple does every year).
      If you've been to CES 2011 or read any of the buz from CES ... note the
      size of the phones offered that are 4G.
      I do believe that smaller 4G dies will arrive to market, but I would think that
      keeps the iPhone 5 close to the current size.
      Notice that phones like the Motorola Atrix are larger, but
      it does GSM and LTE, pluse has a Dual-Core CPU, and NVIDIAs GPUs. Currently,
      this kind of power is in a slightly larger form-factor, in return you get HD and more
      visual real estate.
    2. Will the iPhone 5 do HD? This will require power ... hmmm.
    3. People will want to be able to both roam and do data. Maybe it will be called
      iPhone 4G?

Ultimately, be familiar with where you live and select the service provider that best serves
your area ... buyer be aware what this phone is capable of and what your service provider is willing to do to support those capabilities ... I would advise talking to ATT customers and observing ATT's integration with the iPhone. Where ATT services is good to great, the iphone experience I suspect will be superior to Verizon ... any day.

Down in Concord/Walnut Creek,Ca.I called to clpaomin about the 3rd outage this month and wasvgiven an immediate $30 credit on my bill. Perhaps if Verizon had to cough up $30 or so in reumbursements they would start caring?

There really is no comparison between VZW and AT$T, VZW has the country on lockdown and has plans to make it's network even bigger/better. I've been a heavy cell user for over a decade and a heavy smartphone user for half that time and I have yet to run into a situation when simultaneous talking and surfing was an issue. I have, however, run into situations where AT$T's lack of network was an issue. Just read the fine print on the ads..this supposed super-network is "not available in all areas". When its all said and done, VZW will be the one (and only) choice for iPhone. CDMA may be an issue for people making routine flights to Tokyo, but for the 90% of the US that doesn't even own a passport, it won't be a problem. (it may be 89%, you may want to check my numbers on that...)

its funny how now that the iphone is at vorezin, something that seemed mythical and unattainable, I could really care less about it and think droid is much better. It was only a couple of months ago that I felt completely different and couldn't wait for the chance to have one weird