Buying Into The Verizon iPhone and Weighing The Options

James Mowery January 11 Apple

The Verizon iPhone is upon us, so now it is our job to let you know all the details so you can make an informed decision. For most, this might not be a hard decision at all, but for the rest, we are here to help.

The Verizon iPhone will be available for pre order on February 3. Current Verizon Wireless customers will be able to get in on the fun before anyone else. Then on February 10, the iPhone will be available to everyone.  It will cost you $199 for the 16GB version and $299 for the 32GB version, along with the two-year Verizon Wireless contract. And from what we gather so far, data pricing will remain the same and there will be unlimited data (theoretically, anyways) for consumers. It will also support Verizon’s hotspot technology, which will allow up to five connections.

Sounds good to me.

And now that we got the important details out of the way, the question of whether or not you should consider purchasing the new Verizon iPhone poses itself to us. This is also important depending on your contact situation with Verizon or other carriers. So let’s break down the different scenarios.


To Buy or Not To Buy

If you are on Verizon already and recently purchased a new phone (like me), you are probably screwed until you can purchase a new phone with subsidy. You must either wait 12 months or 20 months until you can exercise this option (with newer contracts beginning to only support the 20 month option). This means that you will have to pay full unsubsidized pricing for the CDMA iPhone 4 to purchase it and use it on Verizon network, which will likely cost anywhere from $500 – $650. In other words, you might be waiting awhile.

If you are on Verizon but your contract is almost up, you have a somewhat difficult decision of either purchasing the iPhone 4 now or holding off for a potential announcement of an LTE iPhone later this year (which will probably be the iPhone 5). If you purchase now, however, it might not be too bad because LTE is still a few years from being fully integrated into Verizon’s network anyways.

If you are on a competitor’s network and your contract is ending soon, it is probably a no brainer. If you want the iPhone and are not satisfied with the idea of being on AT&T’s network, then by all means go ahead and get the iPhone 4 on Verizon.

If you are on a competitor’s network and your contract is still many months away from ending, it will cost you to break it. Some carriers charge up to $350 to break your contract, with this amount decreasing month by month as your contract comes closer to its end; however, it will still cost you a pretty penny. If you are on AT&T with the iPhone, you most weight the pros and the cons of the Verizon network, while also considering that the iPhone 5 might be announced soon for both AT&T and Verizon within the coming months.

So should you buy now or wait for the iPhone 5?

That’s a great question. You could always wait for something better, but, then again, there will always be something better not too long away. But AT&T is usually good about this in that they release a new iPhone once a year. This is just a special case because of the need to get the iPhone 4 on Verizon. So if you already own an iPhone 4, then there is probably little reason to switch, in my opinion (unless signal strength is really that important to you).

Either way, it is just nice knowing that Verizon will be a partner of Apple’s in the foreseeable future, which gives consumers more of a selection of carriers and quality.

Written by James Mowery

James Mowery is a passionate technology journalist and entrepreneur who has written for various top-tier publications like Mashable and CMSWire. Follow him on Twitter: @JMowery.

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