Verizon iPhone: 5 reasons to buy, 5 not to

Almost exactly four years from the date Apple announced the original iPhone, the long-rumored Verizon iPhone has become a reality. Now Verizon customers are wondering if they should get it, and AT&T customers are wondering if they should make the switch.

So, here are five reasons you should buy the Verizon iPhone and five reasons you shouldn't:

Reasons to buy

Mark Lennihan/AP
Tim Cook, COO of Apple, announces that Verizon Wireless will carry Apple's iPhone, Jan. 11, 2011, in New York. The new Verizon iPhone will begin selling Feb. 10.

1. Verizon Network Is Reliable

This point should be obvious by now given the sheer amount of press and marketing that Verizon has put into it. Verizon's coverage really is more reliable nationwide, even though AT&T has been making strides to catch up. Any AT&T iPhone user who has had five calls drop in a row or who has cursed the lack of bars will instantly be attracted to an iPhone on a more reliable network.

2. Free Mobile Hot Spot

This feature was unexpected, but it may now be one of the most compelling reasons to buy a Verizon iPhone. The 32GB version (not 16GB) will have free mobile hot-spot functionality built in. That means it can function as a Wi-Fi hot-spot for up to five other devices. Buying a separate hot-spot device to tether to a smartphone can cost upwards of $100, and AT&T even charges an extra $30 a month for tethering. In this case, the Verizon iPhone is a deal.

3. Unlimited Data

AT&T infamously capped the data usage rates for iPhone users, giving them a ceiling of 2GB per month. Verizon still has an unlimited data plan, and the Verizon iPhone will be able to use it. iPhone users generally use quite a bit of data, so an unlimited plan can be a huge benefit.

4. New Antenna

Remember the Antennagate fiasco when the iPhone 4 was released? Things have calmed down since, but the new Verizon iPhone has a redesigned CDMA antenna, which could mean the iPhone device itself will have better reception (that's on top of the reliability of the Verizon network).

It's the Same Phone

If you've been craving the iPhone 4's amazing features but didn't want to leave your Verizon account or pay an early termination fee, this is your new Christmas. The Verizon iPhone has all the same features to enjoy: Retina Display, FaceTime video chat, a vast app store and a simple interface.

[See also "Graphic: A Brief History of the iPhone."]

(Click below for five reasons not to buy the new iPhone.)

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