AT&T iPhone 4 vs. Verizon iPhone 4: What's the Difference? | Cult of Mac

AT&T iPhone 4 vs. Verizon iPhone 4: What’s the Difference?



Just like AT&T’s iPhone 4, the Verizon iPhone 4 will feature a Retina display, a front-facing camera, an Apple A4 chip, and HD video recording. Other than the CDMA chip in the Verizon device and the redesigned antenna, the hardware is exactly the same. So, how do you choose the best device for you?

We’ve created a handy comparison chart that will help you identify the difference between the two options. If you’re looking to purchase Apple’s latest iPhone, the chart below will help you choose the best carrier for your device based on price, data allowances, and additional features exclusive to each. Check it out after the break!

iPhone 4 on AT&T iPhone 4 on Verizon
Price: $199 16GB / $299 32GB $199 16GB / $299 32GB
Data Plans: 200MB at $15

2GB at $25

2GB with tethering at $45

150MB at $15*

Unlimited data at $29.99*

Unlimited data with 2GB tethering at $49.99*

Voice Plans: 450 minutes at $39.99

900 minutes at $59.99

Unlimited minutes at $69.99

450 minutes at $39.99*

900 minutes at $59.99*

Unlimited minutes at $69.99*

Messaging Plans: 200 messages at $5

1500 messages at $15

Unlimited messages at $20

250 messages at $5*

500 messages at $15*

5000 messages at $20*

Early Upgrades at Launch:
Global Roaming:
Simultaneous 3G Voice/Data:
Wi-Fi Mobile Hotspot Feature:
4G Data (HSPA+/LTE):

*Please note that the prices quoted above for Verizon’s data plan are taken from the current smartphone options. These are subject to change for the iPhone 4, however, Verizon has not yet confirmed pricing for this device.

So, what does the chart mean to you?

Calls, Texts & Data

Well, if you’re a heavy data user, you’re going to get more for your money from Verizon – its unlimited plans, with or without tethering, mean you won’t have to worry about going over your limit and incurring additional charges. If you want data but you don’t use it excessively, you’re better off with the low-end data plans from AT&T, which gives you an extra 50MB for your $15.

Both carriers offer the same options for voice plans – you’ll pay the same price for the same number of minutes whichever carrier you choose.

If you love texting and sending pictures & videos to your friends and family, there are plenty of messaging bundles to choose from. You’re going to get more for your money from AT&T, unless you choose the basic messaging package, which includes 250 texts for $5 from Verizon, as opposed to just 200 texts from AT&T for the same price. Anything above the base package, however, will be better value for money from AT&T, which offers an unlimited text bundle for $20, whereas the most you can get from Verizon is 5000 texts for the same price.

Early Upgrades

If you’re eager to be one of the first to get the latest iPhones when they launch, a contract from AT&T means you may be able to upgrade early when a new iPhone is released each year. However, it seems that Verizon doesn’t currently provide this option.

Simultaneous Voice/Data Over 3G

Because the Verizon iPhone uses a CDMA chip, just like other CDMA devices, you cannot use a voice and data connection at the same time. What does this mean? Well, if you’re on the phone to your buddy and he tells you to meet him at a particular restaurant, you can’t take advantage of multitasking on your device to open up Maps and get directions while you’re on a call. It’s one or the other – data or voice. With the AT&T iPhone, however, this isn’t an issue.

Wi-Fi Hotspot Feature

Although you have the option of tethering your iPhone to your laptop to use its 3G connection, the feature currently only works via USB or Bluetooth. However, if you buy your iPhone from Verizon, you’ll have access to an exclusive feature called ‘Personal Hotspot’, which allows you to connect up to 5 devices to your iPhone via Wi-Fi and use its data connection. This means that it’s now (finally) possible, with a Verizon iPhone, for your iPad to connect to your iPhone just like it’s a Wi-Fi hotspot and use its 3G connection.

4G Data

Neither device on either carrier supports 4G data at this time. So if this feature’s a biggie for you, it’s best to avoid the iPhone altogether right now.


None of the features and options above are going to be of any use to you if the carrier of your choice doesn’t cover your area. The last thing you want is an iPhone packed full of apps and features that you can’t use because you can’t get a signal. If you don’t already know what coverage is like it your area, you can use the AT&T Coverage Viewer, or the Verizon Coverage Locator, to check. Use the data coverage maps below to see your coverage at a glance.




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