With the launch of the Verizon iPhone4 on Feb. 10, students across the country are wondering if one iPhone is truly better than another.
If a dramatic battle between the two phones were to take place based on call quality, data service, Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities, international service and price, here is how the battle would go down:
Voice Calls: Verizon wins.
AT&T reception towers run data and voice at the same time, causing traffic jams in some areas and possible dropped calls.
Verizon phones and towers run two separate types of signals: one for voice and one for data. While this is great for call quality, it creates a huge problem for iPhone users. Verizon iPhones will not be able to simultaneously have a voice call and still use data for uses like surfing the web. This ability is only available to AT&T iPhones because of network differences.
In Orem, AT&T networks experience peak hours of usage where the signal for voice and data slows down. According to Corey, an AT&T customer service representative, two new towers in Orem set to be completed soon will ease voice and data constraints; but the voice quality award goes to Verizon.
Data service: AT&T wins.
Walt Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal reported in his tech blog on Feb. 3 that his independent testing of the two iPhones had, on average, AT&T offering a 46 percent better download speed and a 20 percent better upload speed than the Verizon iPhone.
Additionally, a new notice on Verizon’s website was published telling users that “If you use an extraordinary amount of data and fall within the top 5 percent of Verizon Wireless data users, we may reduce your data throughout speeds periodically.”
With Verizon’s 94 million customers, this new policy equates to 4.7 million having their data slowed on an already slow network.
AT&T is the hands-down victor on data.
Wi-Fi hotspot: Tie.
Leaked reports of the new Verizon iPhone4 showed a capability to turn the phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot, but this feature was already available to AT&T users under the name “tethering.”
In addition, MacRumors.com is reporting that the new iPhone operating system iOS 4.3 will offer a “personal hotspot” capability for both networks.
Jet-Setting: AT&T wins, for now.
It is known that the AT&T iPhone is great for jet-setters because it works with European networks, whereas Verizon’s network and technology is unique to only North America, making their phones paperweights in Europe.
However, 9to5Mac.com tore apart a new Verizon iPhone4 and found that it contains same type of chip that Verizon uses in their Blackberry Torch to make it compatible with European networks.
In double-checking with Apple Care tech support, they stated that the new phone would not work in Europe because it lacks a SIM card.
Until more is known on why the Verizon version has this special chip in it, the winner is AT&T.
Price: AT&T wins.
The killer for Verizon is that they will only offer a $30 unlimited data package, while AT&T offers a $15 package for 200 MB of data or $25 for 2 GB.
Local AT&T dealers offer a UVU student discount of 8 percent off their voice and 2 GB data plans, while Verizon offers no discounts to students. However, Verizon does offer a discount to UVU employees.
Which should you buy?
Students should go with AT&T. AT&T is cheaper, has better data speeds and greater ability to multi-task. If you are an employee, look into price comparisons between Verizon and AT&T based on your data and voice usage.
What are students saying?
“I may drop my Verizon Android and switch to the iPhone4 later this month. It has a lot more capabilities.”
– Ryan Holman, sophomore.
“I don’t have the internet at home. It would be cool to have it on my phone. I don’t care about carrier, it just depends on how much it would cost.”
– Anna Kreitlein, freshman.
“Friends in Saratoga Springs say that Verizon data speeds are horrible where I live, so getting an iPhone wouldn’t be worth it.”
– Jared Evans, senior.
“I would definitely get a Verizon iPhone. Everyone I know with AT&T hates it. I would only go with AT&T if they offered a better student discount.”
– Gina Barron, junior.