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Verizon iPhone: 5 reasons to buy, 5 not to

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AT&T customer Joe Walmsley tries out an Apple iPhone 4 at an AT&T store in Palo Alto, Calif., Jan. 11, 2011. Verizon Wireless made the long-awaited announcement Tuesday that it will start selling a version of the iPhone 4 on Feb. 10, giving U.S. iPhone buyers a choice of carriers for the first time. But there are reasons to stick with AT&T, at least for the moment.

Paul Sakuma/AP

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Reasons not to buy

1. It’s the Same Phone

By the same token, it's the same phone, so if you weren't that impressed by it to begin with or you're already happy with the AT&T network, don't get caught up in the hype about the Verizon iPhone.

2. Verizon Network Is Slower

While Verizon's 3G network coverage is more expansive and reliable, AT&T still has the edge on speed. In fact, in some areas AT&T has a huge lead on data speeds. For the average customer the difference may not be a big deal, but if data speed is essential to you, the AT&T iPhone will still outperform the Verizon iPhone.

3. No Data and Voice at the Same Time

As noted in the smug AT&T commercials of last year, Verizon phones can't talk and surf the Web at the same time. The Verizon iPhone is no exception. We don't actually know many people who absolutely need that function, but if you do, stick with AT&T.

4. No SIM Card

This particular detail only applies to people who are making the switch from another carrier (coming from AT&T or T-Mobile). Verizon's CDMA network doesn't use SIM cards, so changing phones isn't as easy as just plugging your SIM card into a new device. While the transition still isn't that daunting, having no SIM card is certainly less convenient, especially when traveling abroad.

5. The iPhone 5 Isn't Far Away

And finally, the most compelling reason not to get a Verizon iPhone is also the same reason not to buy any iPhone: A new version of the iPhone is likely coming soon. The iPhone 4 (the latest version available on AT&T and Verizon) was announced last summer and industry experts agree Apple is likely to announce the iPhone 5 this summer. That means the Verizon iPhone will become obsolete in just a few short months. Now that Verizon has a partnership with Apple, it's likely that the company will be able to offer the iPhone 5 at the same time as AT&T. If you want the best iPhone, then you're better off waiting.

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