Verizon iPhone: Should You Buy Now Or Wait Until Summer?

Linda Sharps

Ever since the big announcement on January 11, people have been talking about the new Verizon iPhone. Yesterday Apple announced that they're going to kick off online sales on Feb. 9, a day before the device hits its store shelves, and Best Buy also hurried to the presses to let us know they'll be selling the phone in retail stores starting Feb. 10. For existing Verizon customers, there's an even sweeter deal: online sales of a limited number of iPhones will start at 3 a.m. ET Feb. 3 for delivery on or before Feb. 10.

So if you're ready for a new phone, should you jump on this latest offering from Verizon—or wait?

There's no easy answer to the question, but here are a few starting points for making a decision:

• Look at the data pricing. Want to take Verizon up on their offer for unlimited data usage for $30 per month with a two-year contract? They've committed to granular data plans in the future, so this is a time-limited deal. Might be worth it for you, might not.

• Consider your need for speed. The first Verizon iPhone will only work on the older 3G network, which is reportedly more expansive and reliable than AT&T's, but it won't support the new 4G networks AT&T is building. You also can't talk and surf at the same time with Verizon 3G phones, if that sort of thing is a must-have for you.

• Evalute quality of service. Verizon is said to have better service than AT&T, but that can depend greatly on your location. Many complaints about AT&T service in recent years have come from users in downtown San Francisco and Manhattan, where AT&T has admitted to working on upgrades to address network problems.

• How "Oooh Shiny" are you? Most people expect Apple to release the iPhone 5 in June, since they've come out with a new version of the phone in the summer every year since 2007. However, no one knows what new features or functionality will be added to the new model. Maybe it'll be a huge upgrade . . . maybe it won't.

The bottom line: if you don't need the latest Apple toy and you've been chomping at the bit to switch to Verizon, February 10 probably can't come soon enough.

On the other hand, if you're in the market for a new iPhone but have no pressing need to upgrade, you should probably hold out to see what's in iPhone 5. Otherwise, you know it's going to suck this summer when everyone's yapping about their new phone and you're all, shut up about that stupid magic phone before I cram it up your ass.

Are you planning to buy the new Verizon iPhone, or are you happy with what you have?

Image via Flickr/John.Karakatsanis

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