Friday, April 13, 2012

Guest Post: Where you should get your iPhone 4S: Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T?

Most of today's conveniences are owed to mobile (hence wireless) connectivity and the internet. Most services that run people's lifestyle nowadays are internet based; some examples of such services are social networking, satellite navigation, emails, instant messaging, weather forecasting and so on.

More than a decade ago, cell phones only served basic GSM functions such as calling and texting. Nowadays, tech savvies have learned to make a distinction between a basic cell phone and a smart phone. Basic cell phones only focuses on basic functions, i.e. calling and text messaging, and usually features less powerful processors with processing speeds lower than 1GHz. It is also noticeable that basic phones have basic operating systems and has very little multitasking ability. Smart phones, on the other hand, have faster processors that run on clock times much faster than 1GHz and sometimes have dual or quad core processors. As opposed to basic phones, smart phones have great multi-tasking ability and runs of famous operating systems like Windows Mobile, Android, or the iOS. Among these three operating systems iOS is commonly regarded as the best; and not without good reason. The iPhone series has consistently presented us with the best hardware and most reliable software. It is with little wonder that each of the phones in the iPhone series had been eagerly anticipated and warmly accepted by the smart phone fanatics. And now that the iPhone 4S is out in the US market on 3 different providers (AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon), many are itching to get their hands on one. However, we strongly suggest caution when getting an iPhone 4S as selecting the wrong provider can cost you more than others and ruin the user experience.

There are mainly 3 choices when getting an iPhone 4S. These are AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. All three are successful network carriers on their own and have done this through great services. However, not all three offers the same type of service. Otherwise, only one of the three will flourish as there will be no competition. In choosing where to get your iPhone 4S, we will focus on these differences. Mainly the price and what features they offer given a package.


Most smart phone nowadays are subsidized by the network provider and come for free when the user subscribe into the service. With the iPhone 4S, however, this is not the case as the initial cost of the phone is too big to be covered by the profits that will be made by the network out of the 2-year binding subscription.

Moving forward, all three carriers offer similar prices when it comes to iPhone 4S; $199 for 16GB, $299 for the 32GB variant, and $399 for the variant with the largest memory, which is 64GB. However, we will be giving AT&T the advantage in this category as it offers the most reliable refurbished iPhone 4S for the price of $149. The word refurbished may turn some people off, but with our experience, AT&T offers very functional refurbished phones that are as good as new. But if you would like to go brand new, we won't stop you from spending that extra fifty bucks.


In terms of features, the three networks that offers the iPhone 4S emphasizes on different areas. Your choice of network can largely depend on this category as this defines the function that your iPhone can do best for the least amount of cash.

AT&T - America's leading network features perks that emphasizes on calling. With AT&T's carry-over minutes, you can carry over your unused talk time for the next 10 months of subscription. The network also allows you to upgrade to the latest phone model after a year of subscription. However, this feature is rendered useless if you will be getting the iPhone 4S as we doubt you’ll be replacing your phone anytime soon. Overall, AT&T is only good if you will be using your iPhone 4S for calling and for showing off that you have one. Nevertheless, AT&T's data plans are quite reasonable and decent. 

Sprint - Sprint prides on its truly unlimited data rates. Other networks have unlimited data too, but recent discovery of networks throttling their customer's data speed traffic. This has had a lot of customers turned off on unlimited data plans. Sprint, however, has guaranteed that their plans are throttle free and customers will be getting consistently high speed internet. Sprint is ideal for those who are looking to use their iPhones for emails, file downloads, organization, file synchronization, assisted GPS, online gaming, social networking, and almost any other features that require internet connection.

Verizon - Like Sprint, the pride of Verizon lies on its internet/data plans. However, Verizon does not offer budget plans or unlimited data like Sprint. Instead, Verizon focuses on providing the fastest internet connections available at the cost of affordability. This makes Verizon an ideal network for those who are planning to use their iPhone 4S's for video and audio streaming that requires very fast connection speeds for seamless experience. Examples of such services are paid sports channel subscriptions. Streaming is a great alternative to saving your videos in your iPhone's precious internal memory.


AT&T - When it comes to talk time, AT&T has the same offers with Verizon which ranges from $39 to $69 (unlimited talk). However, AT&T has the upper hand as it has the Rollover Minutes feature that ensures that you will be able to use all of the talk time that you have paid for. The same is applicable when it comes to data plans. Like Verizon, AT&T offers an average of $10 per GB.

Sprint - Among the three, Sprint is the most affordable option as you can get an unlimited amount of talk time and data for only $99 per month. When subscribed to Verizon or Sprint, this can easily inflate to $140 if you are a heavy user. Among the three, I would have to say that Sprint is the safest choice. This gets more affordable by using Sprint promo codes.

Verizon - Verizon's rates are very close to AT&T. With talk time, the rates are almost the same with AT&T having the advantage because of Rollover Minutes. Verizon balances this out when it comes to data plans as it features slightly more affordable plan of 10GB for $80. It also has a faster internet connection speed than AT&T so this is the way to go when you are considering high speed data.

Disclosure: Monetary compensation was received for this post, however all opinions are my own.


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