With the iPhone 5 nearly upon us, it’s time to reflect the Verizon iPhone 4 variant I’ve possessed nearly 8 months. If you recall, I was one of those AT&T haters - continually plagued by dropped calls. In fact, I went so far as to declare AT&T’s service a personal liability and was quite literally first in line for Verizon’s iteration last February.
So how’s it been with Verizon? I’ve had exactly one dropped call. ONE. OK, I really experienced four. But three of those were due to user error… as my iPhone battery died mid-sentence. In addition to much improved call performance, I also experience improved coverage. I still can’t regularly count on indoor voice coverage at the office (and blame the building architects). However, Verizon has been superior to AT&T in this regard with texts and VM notifications coming through in near real-time.
On the data front, it feels like Verizon has been slower than AT&T. And, on paper, we know that to be true. More interesting, and more than I had anticipated, I’ve missed being able to carry on a phone conversation while simultaneously accessing data services due to limitations of Verizon’s CDMA technology. However, when using data, it’s reassuring to have been grandfathered under Verizon’s unlimited tier. And periodically adding hot spot functionality doesn’t automatically drop me to a capped plan as AT&T does.
Which brings us to what might happen next. It’s highly likely that the iPhone 5 will be announced tomorrow. It’s probably safe to expect some marginal changes in appearance and functional enhancements. Heck, Gizmodo has already written their review site unseen. But there may be an interesting wrinkle related to carrier support… as Sprint may be joining AT&T and Verizon in offering Apple’s latest handset. With the three major wireless providers offering essentially the same phone, how will folks choose? It’s probably too soon for a LTE iPhone but lighting fast HSPA+ capabilities on AT&T could sway some. As could an unlimited data plan on Sprint. At the end of the day, though, it’s all about coverage. In my case, Sprint is the only carrier that provides reliable service in the office. Which might be enough for me to jump ship. Again.