Welcome to ZenUnwired; a blog dedicated to tracking developments in technology and strategy, and to deciphering the impact of these developments on wired and wireless ISP's, device manufacturers, OS and application developers, and most importantly - you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Verizon iPhone - Should I switch now?

We've all heard of the impending launch of the iPhone on the Verizon network in February. If you are one of the many who are considering getting an iPhone, the obvious question is - 'should I switch now?'

Lets look at this question from two angles. One, if you are currently an iPhone user on the AT&T network. Yes, your iPhone experience has probably been less than stellar. We have all heard of your problems - the dropped calls, slow data speeds, poor customer service, etc. That said, it might still be worth your while to wait. Why? In all likelihood, your fellow AT&T iPhone users are likley to leave in droves thereby lowering the load on the AT&T network. In fact, Credit Suisse reported last year that 1.4M subscribers are likely to leave AT&T for Verizon when the iPhone launches on the Verizon network. Think about it. That might actually be good news for you. With so many people leaving, your experience on the AT&T network should - at least hypothetically - improve. Plus there are added benefits of staying with AT&T's GSM network which I have covered below.

The second angle from which to view the switching question is if you are currently NOT an iPhone user and are considering switching. Of course, if you are a switcher who is currently with AT&T, then the above mentioned logic holds good for you too. But if you arent with AT&T, then consider this report from Consumer Reports

The observations they make are valid - the performance of the iPhone on the Verizon network is as yet, unproven, the iPhone 4 will likley be replaced with the iPhone 5 in a few short months, Verizon's CDMA network will be unable to handle both voice and data at the same time, and finally - the big question of how much the iPhone plans will cost you is unknown at this time. So my recommendation is - since you have waited this long, sit back and wait for Apple to release its next version of the iPhone, which likely will happen this summer. In the meantime, watch (a) whether the iPhone's performance on AT&T improves or further deteriorates, and (b) how well the iPhone 4 performs on the Verizon network.

So the bottom-line in both circumstances is that the best strategy for you is to avoid being a part of the herd, and to just wait and watch. Just my two cents.