D.C. Area Anticipates iPhone Choice: AT&T or Verizon

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The long-rumored move is finally official. The popular iPhone is headed to Verizon. (Published Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011)

    At the Verizon store in Rockville, Md., some customers are already asking about the iPhone.

    "I am very excited," Calik Jabarei said. "I've been waiting two-and-a-half, three years. My contract's been up that long. I stayed with Verizon because I didn't want to go to AT&T, so today is my day."

    "I was a Verizon customer for seven or eight years and I left Verizon to go to AT&T to get the iPhone and now maybe I'll come back," Jackie Levine said.

    Apple stores have been selling iPhones for years on AT&T contracts exclusively. Some customers complained about dropped calls or spotty service. Soon, they'll have a choice, as Verizon is partnering with Apple to bring the iPhone 4 to its wireless network.

    Rhonda Ward said she's going to stay with AT&T for now.

    "Time to time there are problems, but all the benefits of the phone outweigh the problems," she said.

    P.K. Kannan, a professor of marketing science at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, said Verizon and Apple are the short-term winners.

    "In the long run, what's going to happen will depend entirely upon how Verizon is able to deal with the heavy usage of iPhones on their network," he said. "If their quality starts suffering then AT&T doesn't have to fear much because they'll be less of switchers going from AT&T to Verizon."

    "For iPhone users who want the fastest speeds, the ability to talk and use apps at the same time, and unsurpassed global coverage, the only choice is AT&T," a statement from AT&T read.

    "I've had an iPhone for about 3 years and I've been very satisfied with AT&T's service and delivery," Bruce Stein said.

    The iPhone choice is available beginning Feb. 10, when Verizon begins selling them at $199.99 for the 16GB model and $299.99 for the 32GB model, with a two-year customer agreement.

    The iPhone 4 will be available at 2,000 Verizon Communications stores nationwide, online and at all Apple stores.