Since 2007 AT&T has held one massive competitive advantage over their biggest rival Verizon: the iPhone. Nothing else mattered, if you wanted the hottest phone the market has ever seen in the U.S. then you needed to be on AT&T. Verizon had nothing to compete with it and even now the Android phones are only just starting to keep up.
Now though for the first time we essentially have two different iPhones: Verizon’s and AT&T’s.
I fully expect many people to argue with me on this, but there are only two reasons to choose the Verizon iPhone over AT&T:
- You already have a contract with Verizon and you don’t want to break it.
- You get terrible AT&T service where you live.
Mobile Hot Spotting
In the coming months there is going to be a lot of advertising from Verizon showing off how great their iPhone is because you can create a mobile hot spot with it. Likewise AT&T will start promoting the fact that you can do data and voice simultaneously on their iPhone.
So naturally one would think that you should choose the Verizon iPhone, because after all how often do you really use data while you talk on the phone?
Well you are wrong to choose Verizon just to get the mobile hot spot. The reason being: AT&T can add a mobile hot spot feature, Verizon on the other hand can’t magically make their network so that it can do voice and data at the same time.
My bet: come June AT&T has the competitive advantage once again. (Meaning they get the mobile hot spot and still allow simultaneous data and voice transmissions.)
One more thing about June. Say you buy the Verizon iPhone on 2.10.11 when it comes out — what do you do if the iPhone 5 is launched in June? Pay a penalty to upgrade or wait another 1.5 years to get the latest iPhone?
Patient Verizon diehards finally got what they wanted, an iPhone. AT&T users may also get what they want: less network congestion. Likely patient AT&T users will also get the same features as Verizon iPhone owners in just a few short months (rather than waiting 3+ years).
Basically AT&T users will get the mobile hotspot.