AT&T vs. Verizon iPhone: Which should you choose?

Back in January we compared the AT&T iPhone to the Verizon iPhone but now that the iPhone 4S (and iPhone 4) are offered on both Verizon and AT&T, which carrier should you choose? If you're already tied to one carrier and don't want to pay early termination fees, the decision may be easy; if not, the information can be daunting and overwhelming. TiPb is here to help!

To see a breakdown of prices and features, follow along after the break!

Voice Plans

On the surface, it appears as the though AT&T and Verizon offer the exact same Individual plans. Not quite. All of AT&T's plans include rollover minutes - meaning if you don't use all of your minutes, they are "extra" minutes included in your next cycle. There is also a minor difference in the $39.99 plan - AT&T includes 5000 night and weekend minutes but Verizon offers unlimited. Both carriers include unlimited night and weekend minutes on the other two plans and unlimited Mobile to Mobile on all plans.

Verizon & AT&T Individual Plans (add $20 to include unlimited messaging)

  • $39.99 - 450 minutes
  • $59.99 - 900 minutes
  • $69.99 - Unlimited

Next, let's take a look at the family plans. Both carriers' prices include 2 lines with the ability to add up to 5 lines.

Verizon Family Plans (add $30 to include unlimited messaging)

  • $69.99 - 700 minutes, $9.99 each additional line
  • $89.99 - 1400 minutes, $9.99 each additional line
  • $99.99 - 2000 minutes, $9.99 each additional line
  • $119.99 - Unlimited, $49.99 each additional line

AT&T Family Plans (add $30 to include unlimited messaging)

  • $59.99 - 550 minutes, $9.99 for one additional line (3 lines max)
  • $69.99 - 700 minutes, $9.99 each additional line
  • $89.99 - 1400 minutes, $9.99 each additional line
  • $109.99 - 2100 minutes, $9.99 each additional line
  • $119.99 - Unlimited, $49.99 each additional line

So, if you don't need many minutes nor do you need more than 3 lines, you can save $10 by choosing AT&T. On the other hand, if you need about 2000 minutes, you can save $10 with Verizon if you're willing to have 2000 minutes instead of 2100 minutes.

Data Plans

To have an iPhone 4 on AT&T or Verizon, it is required to purchase a data plan.

Verizon Data Plans

  • $15 - 150 MB
  • $29.99 - Unlimited

AT&T Data Plans

  • $15 - 200 MB
  • $25 - 2 GB

Verizon's unlimited plan is definitely a very appealing option, but if you don't have the need for more than 2 GB, you can save $5 with AT&T's $25 plan or get an additional 50 MB with their $15 plan.

Messaging Plans

SMS and MMS are included in both both AT&T and Verizon's plans. Note that for family plans, these prices are per line. Both carriers will include unlimited messaging on all lines for $30.

Verizon Messaging Plans

  • $5 - 250 messages
  • $10 - 500 messages and unlimited Mobile to Mobile texting
  • $20 - 5000 messages and unlimited Mobile to Mobile texting

AT&T Messaging Plans

  • $5 - 200 messages
  • $15 - 1500 messages
  • $20 - Unlimited

Verizon's $20 plan is technically only for family plans because for an additional $20, you can choose an individual voice and text plan that includes unlimited messaging.

Early Termination Fees

If you wish to cancel your service before fulfilling your contract, you will be subject to an early termination fee.

  • AT&T - $325 minus $10 for each month you complete in your contract
  • Verizon - $350 minus $10 for each month you complete in your contract

There you have it, the price comparisons between Verizon and AT&T. However, you should keep other features in mind when it comes to making a decision on which carrier is for you.

Other Differences

AT&T's GSM network allows for simultaneous voice and data. This means that you can do things like browse the web, check email, and stalk Facebook while talking on the phone. Verizon's CDMA network is not capable of doing this. Also, AT&T boasts of faster speeds than Verizon. If you plan to do a lot of International traveling, with AT&T's iPhone 4 you can GSM unlock it and use a local SIM. This will be much cheaper than paying roaming charges. Because Verizon's iPhone 4 does not have a SIM card, Verizon's International roaming is your only option. (AT&T International, Verizon International)

On the other hand, Verizon's iPhone 4 can be used as a mobile hotspot. This means that you'll be able use your iPhone 4 to connect 5 wifi devices to Verizon's 3G network. This functionality will also be coming to the GSM iPhone via a software update, but it has not yet been confirmed if AT&T will be offering the service. Verizon also has a larger 3G coverage area and has the reputation of being more reliable and dropping less calls. (Verizon coverage map, AT&T coverage map).

We never claimed that choosing a carrier would be an easy decision, but we hope having the information in one place may help. If you have any questions, please ask us in the comments below. Anyone already know which carrier you will chose? Why did you make that choice?