With the announcement of the iPhone 5 and pre-orders already being taken in record numbers, the device is set to be a major hit. However one questions that many iPhone 5 buyers are asking themselves is which one of the three main carriers in the US is the best to choose for the new device – Verizon, AT&T or Sprint?
iPhone 5: should you go with Verizon, AT&T or Sprint
The price for the 16GB version of the new iPhone 5 will be $199 on a contract of two years. However if you want an unlocked handset then you could pay between $500 and $650 for the 16GB version. You then have a range of data, voice and text plans from which to choose as well as the option of jumping on T-Mobile.
Network speed is another factor which must be taken into account now that the iPhone 5 has support for 4G LTE. Sprint is offering unlimited data plans and they have 4G but of course it depends on which region of the US you live in. Verizon are ahead at the moment with 4G and AT&T come somewhere in the middle. Check out their respective websites for the LTE coverage map to see which one envelopes your area.
Another consideration is the call quality and this can be checked with your zip code on the carrier’s website. Of course you then have to take into account that all carriers suffer glitches; AT&T is famous for this of course while Sprint is famous for slow 3G speeds.
Data plans also have to be given some thought and of course 4G uses a lot of data and you may find yourself eating up data fast. Verizon and AT&T offer shared data plans while Sprint has unlimited as does Virgin and Cricket. T-Mobile offer unlimited data too if you choose to buy an unlocked iPhone 5. Their plans work out to be cheaper than Sprint’s so in the long run you will be saving money.
Then of course you need to take into account how much you might have to pay to end a contract early. With some you can expect to pay as much as $350, depending how long is left on contract and the length of it. To get this money back you could sell your old iPhone of course.
Other factors to compare include the fact that AT&T is the only one to offer simultaneous voice plus data over LTE. Furthermore, AT&T iPhone 5 models are GSM which make them more suitable in the rest of the world in case you travel a lot.