The only thing that AT&T iPhones can do over Verizon’s is simultaneous talk and data. Otherwise Verizon has the better offer. Unlimited data, like I currently enjoy on my Droid X, 3G Mobile hotspot available (probably the same deal as the Droids) and Facetime over 3G.
But with LTE devices around the corner, will the iPhone do as well as analysts expect? My guess is it will. I know a lot of people who suffered with AT&T when the original iPhone launched and have been suffering for years as they upgraded their iPhones with bad service. But they wouldn’t give up their iPhones.
Disclaimer: Own AAPL and VZ
I’ve been following all the product announcements at CES and amongst the major players, the most interesting devices are both from Motorola – the Motorola Xoom tablet and The Motorola Atrix phone. Both these are one step ahead of everything else out there.
How or why the Atrix landed on AT&T instead of Verizon first is surprising (maybe due to the Verizon iPhone rumors) but it should hit Verizon soon as the Droid Bionic. Anyway after the split from Motorola into Motorola Mobility, the flaling company is in a lot better shape. Not only that, the company has been doing very well with their lineup of android phones.
And the next two monster devices should keep that momentum going. The iPhone is expected to hit Verizon and that could provide a boost to both Apple and Verizon. It is possible that the news is probably mostly baked into the stocks already and if you are from the buy on rumor, sell on news camp, you might want to be prepared to dump those tomorrow.
I’m holding on to my AAPL holdings for atleast a little while more. I might add some Verizon – the 5.5% dividend looks good even though it is a lot less than the 7% just a few months ago before the fast rise of Verizon stock prices.
Disclaimer: I own no stock in any of the companies mentioned in the article except Apple. I do own a Droid X which so far has been great.
AT&T has ended unlimited data pricing on all devices including the iPad. The $30 unlimited plan has been replaced by the options of $15 for 200MB or $25 for 2GB. This may be good for AT&T in the short term but this is a long term negative for the consumer as data consumption is only growing as smartphone adoption increases. Also, Verizon is considering similar changes to their data plans. Already on most devices and plans, unlimited really meant 5GB.
Notable exceptions were AT&T’s plan for the iPad and Sprints upcoming 4G plan for the HTC EVO.
What does this really mean? It means that the HTC EVO seems a far superior choice than the new upcoming iPhone because Sprint’s plan is cheaper and unlimited. As it is Sprint’s plans have been better and cheaper than other carriers for a while but anybody who has experience with Sprint customer service a few years ago never wants to go back. After this change they might consider giving Sprint a second chance.
As a side effect (hoping for reduced data usage) of this AT&T expects to introduce tethering for the iPhone at an extra $20 per month (without adding any more data, What?) to coincide with the launch of the new model. This has been a long time coming with promises of it ‘coming soon’ made three years ago when the original iPhone launched. US is the only country with tethering missing for the iPhone in the world. This should be have been an embarrassment for AT&T who also cannot get the phone to work right in major metros like New York.
Just a few days ago AT&T introduced new smartphone early termination fees. My assumption is that AT&T doesnt want a mass exodus to Verizon when a new iPhone launches on Verizon later this year or next year. But now I realized it also prevents people from defecting to Sprint when they get hit by data overages.
Final conclusion is that this is bad news for the consumer, not so good news for AT&T and Apple (especially in case of the iPad) and impending bad news for Verizon when they introduce tiered pricing themselves. The only winner here is Sprint. Maybe. AT&T claims that the tiers are based on what people actually use but I’m not sure I believe that and going forward as we start watching vidoes etc. on our phones and mobile devices – I’ve been using Youtube often on my phone – things are only going to get worse.
As for stock, if you can handle the risk buy Sprint. It has been on a roll after recent upgrades but if the first to 4G works out for them, the stock might to well. If you are less risky buy Verizon because over the long term they will get an iPhone. I’m not so sure about AT&T’s prospects if they lose their iPhone exclusivity and they will also be the last to market with 4G. Even the CEO says the people will not switch to other providers because they are locked in and not because AT&T will provide better service.
Disclosure: I own no stock in any wireless company. I do own Apple stock but no Apple products. I am happy with my Windows Mobile HTC Touch Pro which can be tethered and also has wifi hotspot.
The new At&T lawsuit is not the first one it has filed against Verizon. In July At&T filed a lawsuit against Verizon for claiming their network to be “the best” and “the most reliable” 3G network. At the same time At&T themselves claimed “More Bars in More Places” (ha).
Now AT&T is suing Verizon for their “There’s a map for that ads”. They recently also added another Verizon ad to the lawsuit which shows a map of AT&Ts 3G coverage. In all of Verrizon’s ads the map is clearly labeled as “3G coverage”. I’m sure At&T is worried about what will happen when it’s iPhone exclusivity ends? Amongst all carriers all over the world, AT&T is the only one that actually blocked features like MMS and tethering on launch day. Just goes to show how bad the state of AT&Ts network is and there are major city locations where a 30% dropped call rate is normal for AT&T.
Even now instead of improving 3G coverage faster (my iPhone toting buddies in Cville just recently got 3G, while I’ve been enjoying 3G on Alltel – now Verizon – for quite a while now), AT&T decides to waste money suing, bringing more attention to it’s deficiencies. It’s a wonder AT&T was not sued for it’s claims in the past of “fewest dropped calls”, “more bars”, “fastest 3g” etc. but I guess other companies were busy expanding their networks instead of suing, while AT&T was busy counting money from iPhone users with dropped calls, large bills and no 3G while wasting money on lawyers.
I was happy with Alltel (and their awesome customer service) and so far have no complaints with Verizon but I’ve never had to deal with their customer service and I hope I never have to.
I own no stock in either company and if you were considering investing in one of the above, you can easily tell which is the better choice.
AT&T = running scared that iPhone exclusivity ends and people will quit in droves thanks to crappy network + no Android/WebOS phones to compete in the near future.
VZW = introducing better phones all the time (Android phones now, WebOS coming soon), not crippling devices anymore, nationwide 3G.