There's a lot of debate on whether the iPhone is losing its charisma in the market. But you still find people buying their iPhones – be it 4S, 5 or 4. And while the unlocked iPhones aren't as popular (as their Android counterparts on unlocked deals), the contract iPhones do sell like hotcakes.
But wait. The catch lies here. Your friend got an AT&T phone, the other friend got a Verizon phone and now that you're looking to buy your iPhone 5 (or even the older ones), which carrier should you choose?
HackerCollege made a simplistic but revealing infographic on the various carriers and their iPhone 5 contract plans. We're taking a look at the Unlimited Data section as that's what the topic of our discussion is.
AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and StraightTalk (the new entrant) but only two of them offer “real” unlimited data plans. Sprint and StraighTalk.
Ironically though, Sprint and StraightTalk – reportedly and by experience – have the least support for powerful 4G / LTE networks across the country. You'll see, from the infographic, that 4G LTE coverage of Sprint spans 49 cities. Compare that to Verizon (473) or AT&T (134) and you get a brief idea about how things are in Sprint's camp.
But!!! This is a major but here: if you're okay with 3G and occasional 4G (don't bother if you are in major metros), Sprint is a decent choice. In fact, it can be a great choice for someone who's okay with a decent data network as long as it's unlimited.
Data costs at Verizon aren't very impressive. They come on the Share Everything plan that went into effect very recently. Under this plan, the start is at $60/month – not exactly great, right?
AT&T is no different either. But interestingly, for about the same data limit that Verizon offers, you pay half as much. If you thought that seals the deal, think again. For the two-year contract period (at $119.99 monthly), you'll end up paying $240 more than what you'd spend on a Verizon or Sprint contract.
- If unlimited data is a must and you're living in the metros and have been lucky so far with Sprint, that's your contract.
- If you're okay with a slightly hefty price for the data plan but would want the best network connectivity, Verizon is your answer.