Read Before Switching to Verizon for iPhone

Verizon is widely rumored to be releasing the iPhone tomorrow and so many have waited so long for the moment they can either give up an existing device on Verizon’s network or switch from AT&T or other carriers. There are a few things to ponder before switching – such as will the new iPhone support GSM, allowing users to travel outside the country and use their phones. My guess is yes – it will likely be a “world phone.”

Moreover, will the device be the same as what AT&T users get or be upgraded somehow with a new designation? Will Verizon for example get an iPhone 4 in white?

Moreover, if indeed it has an unlimited data plan associated with it, will tens of millions of users strain the Verizon network to the point where it becomes less reliable? Moreover, even though Verizon has assured the world for years that their network is robust enough to handle the iPhone, the reality is users on a mobile network are obviously not in a fixed location (thus the “mobile” designation) so it is possible that clumps of Verizon iPhone users – coupled with Droid and other users will clog up cell towers with traffic, resulting in the dropped call issue AT&T has dealt with for years.

Another issue is if you are an AT&T network will the mere fact that the device is available on a competing network mean AT&T’s network will improve over time without you having to switch? Some users may just let others deal with switching and subsequently benefit from a potentially less congested network.

For AT&T iPhone users another consideration before switching is will you miss not being able to surf the net on the iPhone while talking? I certainly will. Verizon’s network currently doesn’t support this feature but it may at some point in the future. Moreover, will the battery life on the Verizon network be as good as it is on AT&T? Remember that iOS 4.2 has special hooks in it designed to work with NSN gear to increase performance as well as improve battery life via more efficient power usage.

At this point there are more questions than answers but another is will jailbroken Verizon iPhones be able to run on competing wireless networks from Sprint for example? There are no SIM cards on Verizon’s’ devices so perhaps not.

There are many factors to consider when making the switch and hopefully some of these questions will be answered in short order so users can begin to make their wireless carrier decisions for the new year.

Expect lively debate about the news at the 4G Wireless Evolution show – 4GWE in three weeks in Miami – collocated with ITEXPO. I hope to see you there.

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