Verizon iPhone versus AT&T iPhone: The top three differences

2. Calls and data don't mix

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    The Verizon iPhone isn't great at multitasking.
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You're on the phone with your girlfriend, picking out a movie to see later that night. "When is that playing?" she asks. With an AT&T iPhone, you can look up show times online, all without interrupting the conversation.

With a Verizon iPhone, however, it's not that simple.

The problem: Verizon uses a CDMA network – and CDMA devices can't juggle both phone calls and Internet access at the same time. So, in our little date-night scenario, you'd need to hang up, check the listings, then call her back to confirm. "Oh, 7:30 doesn't work for you? OK, I'll check the next showing and call you back again."

Of course, Verizon's network does have a silver lining. CDMA has its limitations, but Verizon has an impressive history of customer satisfaction. As we reported earlier today, Consumer Reports' Winter 2010 reader survey tracked carrier quality in 26 metro areas – across all handsets, not just the iPhone. Verizon topped the satisfaction charts for every city. AT&T came in last place for 19 of them.

No one has played with the Verizon iPhone long enough to properly review it. But frustrated AT&T customers, such as our Brooklyn-based blogger Matthew Shaer, may want to switch carriers.

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