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Frugal Friday: The Verizon iPhone

7:06 AM, Feb 4, 2011   |    comments
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By Kasey Joyce

St. Louis (KSDK) --  The Verizon iPhone is now available for presale to Verizon customers. It goes on sale to the general public on February 10th. Are you thinking about making the switch? Here are a couple things to consider in today's Frugal Friday.

The big differences:

One of the biggest differences between the Verizon and AT&T iPhones is the network. Verizon runs a CDMA network. AT&T has a GSM-based network. Both are available in several countries throughout the world. On AT&T's network, you can talk on the phone and access data at the same time. That feature isn't available on Verizon's current network.

Verizon's iPhone is actually a little different than AT&T's. They have redesigned the phone to hopefully get rid of the exterior antenna problem. In doing so, they moved the buttons on the side of the phone. You may notice that may make the current iPhone bumpers and cases not fit properly on the Verizon phone. Don't worry, it won't be long before new Verizon-friendly products hit store shelves.

Verizon's phone also has a handy hotspot feature. You can use the Verizon iPhone to provide wireless internet for up to five devices (but it will cost you, see below).

Cost:

The Verizon phone will cost the same as the AT&T iPhone ($199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB). The voice plans are almost the same for both cell phone carriers. Right now, Verizon is offering a $30 unlimited data plan (although some online bloggers speculate this is a limited time offer only). If you want to use your iPhone as a hotspot, it will cost an additional $20 per month.

The cost to switch cell phone carriers may add up. For AT&T users, it can run you between $50 and $305. You can use this app to find out just how much you can expect to pay: http://tinyurl.com/47uup5r

Sprint users can expect to pay between $50 and $200. Here's a link to Sprint's online policy on Early Termination Fees: http://tinyurl.com/2drxr2e

T-Mobile's policy is a little more complicated. It's $200 for most users. For those with six months left on your contract, it's $100. If you have three months left, it's $50. With 30 days remaining, it's either your remaining balance or $50 (depending on what is cheaper).

A word of advice: do not cancel your current service before you start your new one. If you cancel, you may not be able to bring your same phone number over to your new carrier. Just bring your phone into the store and an associate can help you make the switch.

Verizon offers a couple promotions to its current customers to help take the edge off of upgrading. The early upgrade perk allows current customers with two year contracts to upgrade their phones with a discount after only one year (if they agree to sign another two year contract). There's also a "New Every Two" promotion, giving customers a $30-100 discount on upgrading after two years. The good news? If you're a current customer and you have earned those perks, you can use them to upgrade to the iPhone. The bad news? Those perks are no longer available. Verizon got rid of them in January.

Want to make some money?

Sell back your current phone to make some money. There are several reputable sites that offer consumers money for their old iPhones. You can also try selling on Ebay. Two popular sites www.e-cycle.com and www.nextworth.com offer hundreds of dollars for iPhones (depending on what model it is and its condition).

 

KSDK

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