Why I switched back to an AT&T iPhone

“2011: I was sitting at the Verizon iPhone event liveblogging, and I was ridiculously excited for what was about to be announced,” Jonathan S. Geller reports for BGR.

“The Verizon iPhone 4 performed decently at first, though… in the end, my personal experience with Verizon’s iPhone in and around New York City ended up being about the same as it was when I was on AT&T,” Geller reports. “This, combined with other advantages AT&T’s network has, has made me finally decide to switch back… I missed the ability to talk on the phone while data is still flowing (even though I hate talking on the phone). I missed AT&T’s extremely fast data speeds. I missed knowing that if I ever travel outside of the country, I don’t have to get a new phone (even though I hate flying — no, seriously, try me). I missed feeling like I’m in the digital age instead of the stone age.”

Geller reports, “It’s just true. One of the reasons Verizon’s network is so expansive and solid is because it’s old. Verizon has been building this same network out for ages and so it seemingly stretches beyond any other — but it’s built on an aging and extremely outdated cellular technology. Verizon is in the midst of rolling out its incredible new LTE network in an effort to get with the times, but until then, I’m tired of CDMA. I’m tired of the limitations. What network powers my MiFi? Verizon. What network has the most reliable and robust data offering? Verizon. What network do I want on my iPhone? For now, and I believe for the foreseeable future, it’s AT&T.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That’s completely opposite of our setup, but it’s really about what works for you in your area. We choose AT&T for data* (iPads) and Verizon for voice (iPhones).

*Not only is AT&T faster, but we have grandfathered-in unlimited data plans with AT&T that we want to keep for as long as possible.


  1. Why should I care about Jonathan Geller’s personal experience? We all know that cellphone service varies in different locations, even from street to street, and our needs as users all differ. Maybe we should all write 2 page reviews on our own cellphone usage experience and send it to him and see if he cares.

    1. “We all know that cellphone service varies in different locations”

      Well, it turns out some people still don’t. See this…

      “The Verizon iPhone 4 performed decently at first, though… in the end, my personal experience with Verizon’s iPhone in and around New York City ended up being about the same as it was when I was on AT&T,”

      People can’t understand that for practical purposes both carriers’ networks (Verizon, ATT) are very much the same thing. See what Jonathan Geller said “in the end, experience in and around New York City ended up being about the same”.

      Exactly! Get it now?

      After using one of the early Motorola’s flip phones for a few years in the late nineties, I stopped being a cellphone user; yes I do not have or use a cellphone ever since.

      I believed then they worked poorly and today I’m not far from where I left…., cellphone communication tends to not work, whatever the reason. At the end it comes down to where you live and which network you are on.

      See what we want in a wireless network and what you can do to experience a better wireless service here…


  2. Yah, I’ve read all of the nasty articles about AT&T for many months. And, the bottom line, I wouldn’t give up AT&T for Verizon or any other carrier. My AT&T signal at both my home and business are vastly superior to VZ’s (I had VZ before I bought my first AT&T iPhone. I have had excellent experience with AT&T customer service. And, occasional dropped calls haven’t been a problem either (I had dropped calls on VZ). So, I wouldn’t consider switching.

  3. In America, there are very few phone models that are available on more than one carrier. Almost EVERY single cellphone model out there is exclusive to its carrier. Droid, MyTouch, Evo, etc. With the exception of Blackberries, which are mostly available in both flavours (CDMA and GSM) and on all carriers, very few models out there are non-exclusive. And for the last month, iPhone seems to be another one.

    What I’m saying is, many people talk about iPhone’s exclusivity as if it is some weird aberration that has to end, while in fact it is by far the most prevalent model in the business. The noise is so loud most likely because no other phone is coveted so much, and everyone is hoping, pining, yearning for an iPhone on their own carrier… I don’t think I ever heard anyone asking for HTC Evo on AT&T…

  4. I’m in an area where Verizon is the only carrier. I don’t miss data and simultaneous talk – never had it. Don’t miss GSM – never had it. There are a lot of people who waited patiently for years just to get an iPhone. I and my friends are very, very happy we at last have an iPhone and can dump our wannabe Droids.

  5. CDMA sucks… PERIOD!
    Last time I used a mobile with that, was back in 1999, then a year later I switched to a GSM carrier, even back then, GSM was FARRR way more advance and –VERSATILE–. No wonder a vast majority of carriers around the world embraces that technology.

  6. i switched from AT&T to Verizon and I love the service. I live in Hawaii and last week we wlere evacuated because of tsunami. AT&T crashed and burned with the call volume (3 hours for AT&T subsciber to receive a txt msg). My verizon iPhone worked perfectly – never even dropped a call. Say what you want about gsm, but having a phone that works as a phone is the most important thing to me.

  7. I switched from Verizon (Treo) the day iPhone 1 came out.

    I have had a great experience with AT&T. I have traveled far and wide with it and my dropped calls are no more noticeable than any of the other cell phones I have had.

    What is noticeable is the Unlimited plan, the excellent customer service I have received in person and via telephone. Also noticeable is the lack of nickle and diming.

    Looking at what Verizon is doing with the FIOS service and Netflix, I say Fark em! I will never use their services again of my own free will. They are the epitome of corporate greed in my eyes and I refuse to participate.

    1. That was my experience exactly, with a Verizon Treo then going to an iPhone. I am not in love with any of these carriers, but I am certainly satisfied with AT&T.

  8. It is true that Verizon’s CDMA is more expansive and it works great for voice calls and data is ok but I say that if you use a smart phone, you should use a smart network and that’s why I’m not leaving At&t.

    Everyone is rolling out 4G and I think LTE will be better than At&t’s HSPA+ but this 4G has years before it can be as expansive as 3G. Things are fine for now.

  9. Wait a minute! I thought AT&T had awful voice coverage, especially in New York City. And this guy says its about the same after using both. I thought AT&T just sucked, and was the worst partner Apple could have chosen, and was holding Apple back from world domination. And Verizon was the white knight of networks that would save it. Now we hear it just has a big old stone age network. With a dorky guy in a weird uniform promoting it?

    I can’t believe all this drama and it turns out AT&T was pretty darn good, much better than Verizon if you take the full package of voice coverage, cost, international, data speed, etc. AT&T wins, Verizon loses. Amazing. Of course I thought Obama was going to end all human suffering and lower the sea levels and make the sun shine in Cleveland. Oh well, I guess the people are sheep.

    1. Ken,

      I love this comment. It just goes to show that when fantasy meets reality, the results are not always pretty.

      The blogoshpere has gone into a frenzy over-hyping the Verizon iPhone. this was because people were continuously comparing a real iPhone from AT&T to a fantasy iPhone from VZ. Just like the girls in a teenage boys fantasy are always perfect whereas everyone has some flaws, a real iPhone from VZ comes with some drawbacks, some expected and others unexpected.

      The reality is that while each network has strengths, each has their drawbacks as well. On the whole, depending on your location and how you use your iPhone, one network may be better than the other, but neither is perfect.

      The mass exodus from AT&T to Verizon that some predicted is unlikely. I for one, love my AT&T iPhone and plan on sticking with them. (In fact I am getting ready to purchase my first iPad and the network I am choosing? Do you need to ask?

  10. I never bought for a minute that Verizon had great and wonderful coverage in NYC and AT&T couldn’t keep a call going to save its life (which is the way most of the blogs made it sound). Jon Stewart had a bit where his correspondent was celebrating the release of the Verizon iPhone, and dropped his call because he “looked at a tunnel”, which was pretty funny.

    NYC is nothing but tall buildings, and concrete and steel block cell phone signals. CDMA penetrates better than GSM, but both get interrupted from time to time.

    As has been said previously, get the version of the iPhone which works best for you.

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