AT&T vs. T-Mobile: Which carrier to keep?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by johnnyxhuynh, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. johnnyxhuynh macrumors regular

    johnnyxhuynh

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Location:
    Houston, TX, USA
    #1
    It has been just over 30 days since I established new service with AT&T and purchased the iPhone 3GS. I also still have an active T-Mobile account and am now at a point where I need to decide which carrier to keep.

    With this post, I am interested in knowing what the thought process was for others in a situation similar to mine.
    • What factors did you consider?
    • What compromises did you make?
    • Can you offer some feedback to help me make my decision?
    A few key points of consideration particular to my situation:
    1. Plan. T-Mobile has a great plan for me: essentially $85 unlimited everything plan (that "Unlimited Loyalty" Plan")
    2. Coverage. AT&T appears to have better reception (I get full bars most of the time, compared to the 1-3 on T-Mobile), but I have still experienced some dropped calls during the past 30 days
    3. WiFi. There is WiFi at home, work, and school — the three places where I am the majority of the time — so coverage is not always a major issue, I suppose
    4. Warranty. I am somewhat concerned about the "warranty" issue... what if for some reason the iPhone stops working? I bought AppleCare, but can I simply submit a "restored" phone that hasn't been activated in for service/repair? How does that work if I am told to take it in to a Genius Bar?
    Note, paying the EFT to either carrier is NOT a concern for me. The iPhone itself was a gift, and, therefore, I do not mind paying the EFT as part of "my share" of the deal.

    Thank you!
     
  2. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816

    jackiecanev2

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #2
    Wirelessly posted (BB 8900: BlackBerry8900/4.6.1.250 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/301)

    Is part of your plan to use the iphone unlocked on tmobile?

    Because the biggest drawback here is 3g vs no 3g.
     
  3. johnnyxhuynh thread starter macrumors regular

    johnnyxhuynh

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Location:
    Houston, TX, USA
    #3
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7A341 Safari/528.16)

    Yes, the iPhone would be unlocked for use on the T-Mobile network.
     
  4. krackers macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #4
    i'd go with t-mobile. You get cheaper costs. I am using iphone on tmobile with 3 bars, but i have NO dropped calls for like 1 year! If you go with t-mobile you will only get edge speeds which could be adrawback, but you said you have wi-fi everywhere. With tmobile calls to other tmobile people are free, as well as calls after 9:00. Hope this helps. Oh and if anything goes wong just restore before giving it to the genius bar
     
  5. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    PHX, AZ.
    #5
    The killer with T-Mobile is you won't get 3G service.
    You will be stuck with EDGE.

    So you have to take that into consideration.
    Also, if you're relying on WiFi, you may want to rethink losing 3G as well since WiFi under the 3.0 software blows. I still think the 3.0 software in general is crap. It can't hang onto a WiFi signal to save its life and the latest reports on the Beta 3 is still inconclusive as to whether Apple fixed it or not.

    Just something to think about.
     
  6. huck500 macrumors 6502

    huck500

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    Southern California
    #6
    How many people are having a WiFi problem? I searched and didn't find anything, and no one I know with an iPhone is having trouble. I'm on WiFi all the time at home.

    Personally, I'd stay with ATT, but I use 3G a lot.
     
  7. MacAddict2000 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    #7
    A Genius will still be able to tell whether or not your phone has been unlocked, regardless of restore. They run a diagnostic on it. Unlocking/jailbreaking will void your $69 AppleCare too (along with your one-year limited warranty).

    I'd say, it's probably not worth it.
     
  8. zahi745 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #8
    3g vs edge? is there that much diff???

    is Edge really that slow compared to 3g or is there a few seconds difference and that difference depends on your location. like in cali t-mobile is not that great but in Illinois the connection for t-mobile is really good!!! if you unlock the iphone will you have the network automatically or will u need to sign up for it???
     
  9. tigres macrumors 68040

    tigres

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Location:
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
    #9
    I would love to know this diagnostic after a full restore.

    That is first that I have ever heard this one.

    Betting you are completely wrong on this so called tool.
     
  10. johnnyxhuynh thread starter macrumors regular

    johnnyxhuynh

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Location:
    Houston, TX, USA
    #10
    My current active T-Mobile account is already setup/provisioned for iPhone data usage.
     
  11. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    PHX, AZ.
    #11
    Here's just a couple I found after 30 seconds an two keywords. ;)

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=747014

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=737088

    Myself and others are asking about it as well in the Beta 3 thread.

    The 3.0 software is flakey when it comes to WiFi.
    My 2G iPhone worked great on WiFi until I loaded 3.0. Now it drops after a minute or two and doesn't remember to reconnect.
    My wife and I now both have new 3 GS iPhones and they are doing the same thing.
     

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