iPhone 5: How To Pick Between Verizon, AT&T & Sprint

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The iPhone 5 is now available in stores (albeit in limited quantities) across the US. So the next question is which carrier is the best to take out the iPhone 5 with? AT&T, Sprint or Verizon?

Best iPhone 5 carrier: Sprint, AT&T or Verizon

Apple has sold five million units of the iPhone 5 since it was launched last week. The demand for it is great and Apple has said that they will be working to make sure that everyone who wants it gets it in a timely fashion. But which of the top three carriers in the US is offering the best deal?

When it comes to 4G coverage your best bet is with Verizon due to the fact that they have the largest of the 4G networks in the US. At the moment AT&T have 60 markets and they plan on offering it to another 47 by the end of the year. Sprint only has 19 cities while the leader, Verizon, have 371 markets and will have another 29 before the end of the year is out.

For unlimited data plans for your iPhone 5 it has to be Sprint. AT&T and Verizon have stopped offering it and while T-Mobile does have one, you will need to buy an unlocked iPhone 5 first.

Data plan price ranges vary. AT&T has plans between $59 and $139 per month. Sprint offer plans between $79.99 and $109.99 and Verizon have plans between $80 and $190 per month. This puts AT&T as the winner in this category if you’re looking for the cheapest plan for your iPhone 5.

For FaceTime the app has gotten an update with HD; however the cost of using it will differ. AT&T are offering it to their customers with the mobile share plans, otherwise it has to be used on Wi-Fi. Sprint do not lay down any restrictions for using the video calling app and Verizon also have no restrictions and they offer on any data plan and for no extra cost. The joint winners are Sprint and Verizon.

Voice and data at the same time with AT&T remains the same as it did with the iPhone 4S. Consumers can talk while they surf the internet at the same time. However with Sprint you cannot access both together and will have to browse through Wi-Fi. Verizon also do not have the third antenna and the same applies to them, you will have to use Wi-Fi. This makes the winner AT&T.

Verizon do seem to offer an advantage over the other two carriers as their iPhone 5 models are being sold unlocked and so they can be used on any network. AT&T will unlock, however only after the contract has reached its end. Sprint’s iPhone 5 on the other hand are locked to their network and then there is a wildcard in the form of T-Mobile who doesn’t actually sell the iPhone 5, but has a network that is compatible with the readily unlocked Verizon iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5 can be bought for the same price as the iPhone 4S when that was released. The 16GB is $199, the 32GB $299 and the 64GB $399. If you still have trouble deciding between carriers, check out their website to see their coverage map when it comes to data and reception. It should tip the scales in one direction or the other.

Cecelia has the patience of a praying mantis. She spends the day sifting through press releases from all the major brand’s PR reps. From the most ridiculous announcements to those you really want to know more about, Cecelia makes it a point to skim through as many daily as possible so you won’t have to.