Why Corporate iPhone Users Shouldn’t Rush to Verizon…Just Yet

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from NPI, a spend management consultancy focused on delivering savings in the areas of IT, telecom, transportation and energy.

The Verizon iPhone will officially be on the market tomorrow thereby giving many Verizon lovers and AT&T haters a reason to rejoice. But, if you're a corporate iPhone user debating a switch to Verizon, you may want to think twice...or at least wait until the dust settles. Here are three reasons:

Verizon's iPhone will still have issues. Recent reviews of the Verizon iPhone 4 indicate the infamous antenna issue may have been fixed (although the final verdict will come in the form of consumer rants and reviews in the coming weeks). That's great news, of course, but what about performance? Data speeds of the iPhone 4 device on Verizon's network have been lackluster for some early testers. Josh Topolsky of Engadget reports that "...data rates on the Verizon iPhone 4 we tested were dramatically slower than those on its AT&T counterpart." And, not just a little slow -- Verizon download speeds were at nearly half that of AT&T's.

The iPhone 5 is only months away, and industry insiders predict it will be equipped with 3.5G or 4G data chip as well as a faster process. Why not wait until the next version comes out versus being locked into a two-year contract with a sub-par device and network?

AT&T is offering unadvertised unlimited data plans to certain customers. Verizon seemed to have gained the upper hand when it announced that it would offer unlimited data plans for its iPhone 4 device. However, it didn't take long for AT&T to quietly -- but surely -- begin offering unlimited data options to select users. Peter Svensson of the Associated Press reports: "In an unadvertised loophole, AT&T has allowed subscribers who have had an unlimited data plan in the past to switch back. That includes anyone who had an iPhone before June, when the limited plans took effect."

Do you qualify for AT&T unlimited data plan? It's worth a check (read on to see why).

Switching costs may add up. Each corporate device carries its own term. That means that even if the term of your company's master agreement is about to end, the individual device may have months remaining on its individual term and you could be facing an early termination fee. Corporate accounts moving a lot of devices from AT&T to Verizon Wireless may also impact the discounts offered if the move causes them to miss their revenue or device commitment. Of course, some of these costs may be offset by incentives offered by Verizon Wireless.

Time will tell if Verizon proves to be the better iPhone option for enterprises. No matter if you're a dissatisfied AT&T iPhone user or a first-time buyer looking to source with Verizon, it's advisable to sit back and wait for better technology and proof that Verizon can live up to its promise for better network performance.

- Matt West, Director, Telecom Services, NPI

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