Which iPhone 4S Carrier Has the Cheapest Plans in the US?

Which iPhone 4S Carrier Has the Cheapest Plans in the US?

With the iPhone 4S now available on AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, many consumers are wondering which carrier offers the best deal. New customers have lots of options on the table for selecting an iPhone 4S. There are also customers considering moving to a new carrier once their current contract expires.

AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint all offer competing voice and data plans for the iPhone 4S that make it difficult to decide on which carrier to choose. Let’s try and figure out which carrier offers the cheapest plans for US iPhone 4S customers.

AT&T pretty much offers the cheapest plans with the fastest possible connectivity speeds across the board. Verizon has consistently been seen as superior when it comes to coverage, call quality, and overall customer satisfaction. Sprint also offers good coverage with the only unlimited data plan for the iPhone you can get.

Things get tricky when you consider how much data and voice you want.

As CNN notes, AT&T has the cheapest plan combination out of all three carriers. For 200MB of data, 450 minutes, and no texting, an iPhone 4S will only cost you $55 on AT&T. That’s as bare bones as it gets, but cheap is cheap.

On the opposite end of the data spectrum, Sprint offers unlimited data and texting with 450 minutes for $80 — which is a pretty good deal. If you aren’t one of the lucky few to have been grandfathered into the AT&T unlimited data plan, Sprint is your only option for all-you-can-eat data.

If you only send a few texts and want a little more data, Verizon is the cheapest option. You can get 250 texts, 2GB of data, and 450 minutes for $75 a month. AT&T’s similar plan costs $85 and Sprint’s costs $80.

Comparing carrier plans can be a nightmare, so let us know what you decided to go with for your iPhone 4S. Did you switch carriers for a certain offer?

  • Danny

    Verizon Unlimited Text/Minutes/Data – I was grandfathered in. :D

  • DDrago

    AT&T Unlimited Data Grandfathered in, Everything else is family planned (text and voice)

  • Michial Brown

    2 iphones each with unlimited data and unlimited text and 700 minutes shared only $143 per month included all taxes because of my employers 22% discount.

  • Andrew

    ATT UNLIMITED  GRANDFATHERED IN and unlimited text so i wont ever switch unless i really have to
    but i want to keep my ATT unlimited plan

  • JP Jay

    You also forgot to mention AT&T offers the fastest data, as the 4s will work on 4G networks

    I’m grandfathered in so I’m sticking with them.

  • Terry Manns

    Sprint 1500 Everything Data – Unlimited Mobile to Mobile, Unlimited Data, Unlimited Texting for 2 iPhones with 24% company discount.  $118 before taxes.  I will be paying less that my grandfathered AT&T plan that only has 700 minutes and 200 texts per phone.

  • Bitter Witch

    Same! 

  • Bitter Witch

    22%? Holy shit!

  • AuthorOfThings

    I wish I could switch to Sprint, but like every one else, I’m grandfathered in to AT&T.  The best plan for the best price is Sprint. AT&T is spotty in quite a few states.

  • DarekSlaby

    Why isn’t anyone talking about the unlimited mobile to any mobile that ATT offers? Sure, you need the 700 min plan and texting, but one you get that, its practically unlimited texting, calling, and your choice of data. I current share this plan between 3 lines and we’re racking up roll-over minutes (another Att exclusive) every month. Add my .edu discount and I’m only paying around 55-60 dollars a month with unlimited text, talk, and 2GB of data a month. I don’t think anyone else can compare to that

  • Vicente

    AT&T Family Plan since iPhone 4, sticking with it for 4S.  Have unlimited text may cancel text service if iMessage works for us.

  • Chris

    Verizon Unlimited minutes, 250 texts, 4GB data WITH HOTSPOT.   I talk a LOT for business, and I will use the hotspot for work with the MacBookPro and iPad while taking kids to soccer practice.  Switching from AT&T because I live an a mountainous area, and can’t keep a business call connected for more than 3-5 minutes.

  • Elliot

    unlimited data, text, and calling to any mobile phone for 79.99? other guys can’t touch that… your 450 minutes are dedicated to LAN lines only AND Sprint’s nights & weekends start at 7:00 PM not 9:00 PM like all the other guys. They also have the best employment discounts around (which takes care of taxes after all is said and done) 

  • cliqsquad

    Yeah, AT&T trades the 7PM nights and weekends for Rollover mins for LAN Lines. I do love AT&T for following Sprint with the unlimited mobile to any mobile. It is the reason I never left for Verizon and the iPhone 4 earlier. Verizon I would need unlimited talk for $69.99.

  • Jay

    It is true that att is the cheapest option. I am switching to att from sprint with att 2 gb data plan thanks to wifi at home and work, no texting plan thanks to imessage, cheapest calling plan thanks to roll over(but have to carefull first couple of months).

  • droo

    AT&T’s 4G data is just not real 4G, it’s HSPA+ which means that it’s basic HSPA (3G) but they can combine the backhaul and bandwidth to increase customer bandwidth. The problem is if you are in a busy traffic area you will likely experience less (and maybe not even 3G) data rates.

  • Wayne_Luke

    I can get 4GB of data, tethering, unlimited texts and basically unlimited minutes from AT&T on a line in our family plan. Costs $66.00 a month per line after the first. $14.99 for the line, $45.00 for the data and tethering, $6.00 for unlimited messaging. Unlimited messaging comes with unlimited mobile to mobile minutes regardless of carrier. I don’t even know anyone with a landline anymore. the first line only costs $76 with 2 GB of data, unlimited messaging and unlimited calling.

  • dang

    wroooonnnnggg

  • Adrian

    I have Verizon,  2000 Texts and Call. With Verizon its free you text or call anyone on Verizon. I have unlimited data because I was grandfathered in and I have 11 people in my circle from alltel and was grandfathered in and anyone how has AT&T, T-Moblie, and Sprint I just add to my circle. I never really have to use any of my 2000 mins. Life is Good.

  • Ed_Kel

    You didn’t take into account discounts and almost everyone is eligible for some kind of discount. On AT&T, I’m paying 158.47 for two iPhones both with 2gb of data along with unlimited texting and mobile calling.. This equals out to be less than 80 a month per line, after taxes… Accounting for discounts is cheating, maybe, but the general consensus is that most pay around 80/month regardless of carrier, so anyone willing to beat that wins in my book.

  • Jmagana88

    That is all well said! I agree with you to the bottom of the last line; I’m sticking to Sprint when I finally make the switch to the iPhone4S, or 4 depending on how I feel about getting the iPhone 5 which is expected to roll out some time next year.

  • SevanGrim

    i grandfathered into Verizons unlimited when the iphone4 was made available. And im getting a small dicount for being a city employee. So all in all im hitting about 60 for unlimited talk text and and data family plan. The bill itself is about 110, but thats me and my girlfriend (who still uses a feature phone evny 3 for some reason….)

  • iHaveScales

    Sprint. Who else has unlimited data? NO ONE! thats who. The decision is easy. I never want to check and make sure I’m not going to go over my data plan. I’m currently switching from verizon to Sprint starting TOMORROW! can’t wait…

  • Evan Benford

    All these sites seem to forget that that sprint gives you calls to ANY cell phone for free. That 450 minutes is ONLY for landlines on weekdays before 7pm. ALL others calls to ANY cell phone on ANY US carrier are free…thats is the big feature with sprint…not to mention the unlim. text & data. its almost like having unlimited minutes, the peace of mind it provides i makes it worth it. All the sites have this GLARING OMISSION on these plan reviews for iPhone. And when it comes to family plans…god lets not even compare Sprint wins hands down.

  • Ed_Kel

    Good luck with that. Sprint has the worst network in the country thus their roaming agreement with Verizon. The network matters more than unlimited data which often rarely do people go over 2gb. Plus, why wouldn’t you want to go to network that lets you talk and surf at the same time? Getting kicked off of data every time a call comes through is rather annoying..

  • Elliot

    HSPA+ is not 4G bro…   LTE and WiMax are the only 4G networks out there and the 4S will not work on either

  • Elliot

    dont forget unlimited data. the other guys don’t even put it on the table. You could go into Verizon or AT&T and say “I will pay you $1,000 a month if i can just use my IPhone as much as i want” and they wont be able to help you… what’s the point of having an iPhone 4S if your service provider wont let you use the features as much as you want? Sprint gives you the best value. there is no debate

  • James T

    2 4S FamilyTalk Nation 2000 Rollover & Unlimited Night/Weekend & Unlimited Mobile-To-Mobile Minutes, the unlimited data plans (5GB actually). We have 8 iPhones on our family plan, just over $600/mo.
    Also according to the International Telecommunications Union, no cell provider actually has “4G” service. HSPA, LTE, WIMAX are extension of 3G and until we see LTE-A or WiMAX-A it’s not real 4G it’s just marketing from the providers to pull people in. That’s why Apple said the iPhone can do 14.4 Mb/s HSPA+ which other people call “4G” but they didn’t say it was 4G.

  • Jason Douglas

    Uh, we have AT&T and we have unlimited calls to any cell phones for free also. We also have unlimited data. Granted, we probably were grandfathered in but, when I compared what our plan would be for the same coverage vs the other carriers, AT&T wins hands down. But, that’s for us.

  • SDsurfin

    I am using T-mobile prepaid and get 5GB of data for about $30 / month. This site has info about how to set it up: https://sites.google.com/site/… . The only downside is that you only get 2G service. But, to save $80 a month I’m willing to deal with that. The AT&T plan with 200 MB just wasn’t enough bandwidth for me. I love my iPHone but, can’t afford anything over $50 a month.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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