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

So you've decided on a 3G iPad 2 over its Wi-Fi counterpart, but now you must choose which carrier to go with - AT&T or Verizon?

For a breakdown of each carrier's pricing scheme, follow along after the break!


On the original iPad, AT&T offered two prepaid plans. Now, they are offering those same two prepaid plans in addition to two postpaid plans. Both the prepaid and postpaid plans have a 250MB option for $14.99 and a 2GB option for $25 - the difference lies in the overage charges of the 2 GB plans. In the prepaid plan, if you exceed 2GB, you must pay an additional $25 for 2 more GB of data. In the postpaid plan, it's $10 for each additional GB.


  • 250 MB - 14.99, $14.99/250MB overage charges
  • 2 GB -$25, $25/2GB overage charges


  • 250 MB - $14.99, $14.99/250MB overage charges
  • 2 GB - $25, $10/1GB overage charges

The other difference, of course, is when you pay for the plans. In the prepaid options, you pay ahead time for the data and if you use it up before the month is over, you have an option to buy more. In the postpaid options, you will be billed for the data you used at the end of the month. So if you want to ensure that you never exceed your alloted data cap, stick with the prepaid options. On the other hand, if you want data regardless of overage charges, go with postpaid option; you'll likely save money in the end.

Lastly, if you are currently on an unlimited $30 plan with the original iPad, you will be grandfathered into this plan automatically.


Verizon is offering a broader range of plans, so if you expect to use a lot of data, Verizon may be the better choice for you.

  • 1 GB - $20, $20/GB overage charges
  • 3 GB - $35, $10/GB overage charges
  • 5 GB - $50, $10/GB overage charges
  • 10 GB - $80, $10/GB overage charges

With both carriers, the plans are month-to-month and can be cancelled at any time. To summarize, here's a chart that breaks down the pricing for a quick comparison.

Other Considerations

As with choosing a carrier for the iPhone 4, TiPb always recommends you choose the one with better coverage where you are most of the time. If they are comparable, start looking at data speeds and prices. AT&T boasts of having the fastest 3G network, while Verizon claims to be the most reliable.

Also, since AT&T is GSM/HSPA and uses SIM cards, if you're an international traveler and want to be able to get local SIM cards to use in other countries like Canada, the UK, etc. Verizon won't be an option.

Lastly, keep in mind that once you make your decision, it's final. The AT&T and Verizon iPads are equipped with different hardware, so once you choose, there's no turning back.

Do you know which carrier you're going with? If so, let us know who you chose and why in the comments below!

[All Things D]