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The iPhone 4: Verizon vs. AT&T

By Aman Judge

With the recent news of Verizon Wireless selling the iPhone 4, the question arises if other iPhone users will make the switch from AT&T to Verizon. Although the iPhone 4 was exclusively on the AT&T network, Verizon had been toying with the idea of selling the iPhone as soon as AT&T’s exclusive contract ran out. Now, its dream has finally come true, and AT&T is no longer the only network for the iPhone 4.

What is AT&T doing to keep its customers from switching to the most-used cell phone network in the nation? For starters, advertising.

In a recent ad, AT&T promises its customers that they can surf the Internet while taking a phone call. The ad plays off of relationships and the human ability to forget things, but in essence, the ad tries to one-up Verizon.

According to a New York Times blogger, Verizon’s network isn’t capable of allowing its iPhone 4 customers to multi-task. This includes, but is not limited to, the ability to surf the Internet while taking a phonecall. Some may ask what is the point of having a smartphone, let alone an iPhone, if it lacks the ability to access data while talking on the phone, and AT&T is taking full advantage of its technological superiority. Verizon explains that a customer can surf the internet while taking a call, but only in its “Wi-FI hot spots.” Although this is helpful, these “hot spots” do not cover the all of the areas serviced by cellular data plans.

The idea of accessing the Internet while talking on the phone is something that smartphone users do on a regular basis. As long as Verizon can’t offer this feature on its iPhone, it might not make sense for consumers to make the switch from AT&T to Verizon.

AT&T is also taking advantage of the negative attention Verizon is receiving due to its smartphone limitations. As most know, smartphones vary from cell phone service to cell phone service, but AT&T is advertising both its new smartphone, which allows multi-tasking, and its strong system.

This has placed Verizon in a tight spot. The Verizon flagship store in New York only had eight people waiting in line to purchase this much anticipated product, but Verizon remains optimistic. Verizon realizes that it has a different market to appeal to in the Mid-Northwest area of the United States, which AT&T doesn’t serve well. Not only does Verizon serve these parts of the country neglected by AT&T, it continues to have a stronger service and quality of calls throughout the nation. While AT&T has begun to compete with Verizon’s service, it still falls short.

Both networks continuously battle for customers, and to do whatever it takes to hold on to the customers they have. Although both networks have their downsides, Verizon seems to be winning in this battle, especially when it comes to customer service and quality. Now with the introduction of the iPhone 4 into Verizon, AT&T has to fight harder to compete. So far, it has experienced victory with the low turn-out of customers outside of Verizon stores, but this is just the beginning.

Will Verizon still continue to compete with AT&T or will its popularity suffer with all of this negative attention?

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