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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,475
16,531



PC Mag has put together a nice comparison of voice and data service plan options for the iPhone 4S on the three U.S. carriers that will be offering the device: AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.

iphone_4s_plan_comparison.jpg



At the top, the chart shows pricing for the three standard voice tiers used by carriers (450 minutes, 900 minutes, and unlimited), all paired with unlimited texting. The second section compares pricing for various buckets of data usage, and while different carriers have different cutoff points, the chart allows users to compare pricing at any given usage level. Sprint of course is offering unlimited data for the iPhone, requiring only a $10 "premium data" surcharge on top of the basic "Simply Everything" charge of $99.99 per month.

Some users may also be interested in mobile hotspot offerings, which allow them to use their iPhones as access points to 3G data for Wi-Fi enabled devices. Mobile hotspot functionality is included in higher-level data packages (4 GB and above) from AT&T and Verizon, while it is a separate $29.99 per month add-on for Sprint's unlimited data service.

Users looking to get the best deal on service for the iPhone 4S will need to gauge their data needs ahead of time, as different carriers offer strengths in different areas. High data usage customers may find Sprint appealing, as it is the only carrier offering unlimited data. Sprint's pricing makes it the best deal all the way down to only 2 GB of usage, but low-use customers might be interested in AT&T's $15/month data package offering 200 MB of data as a cheaper option.

As PC Mag notes, users will also need to weigh the pros and cons of each carrier's network, and users should also be aware that Apple's new iCloud service may result in them using more data than they do currently, depending on how much data they move up and down through the service.

Pre-orders for the iPhone 4S will begin at 12:01 AM Pacific time tonight/tomorrow morning.

Article Link: Comparison of iPhone 4S Service Plans for AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon
 

AppleDroid

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2011
631
84
Illinois
Well hopefully that will stop the "Sprint is more expensive than AT&T!" people from yapping. Also I want to cry after I saw how much I pay yearly for a stupid phone.

edit: Also note that only the 2GB/data plan is slightly more expensive than Sprint. Add on the top tier (Since Sprint is currently truly unlimited) and let's see the price difference.
 

gpat

macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2011
1,026
1,356
Italy
Now make the significant comparison, the one with any number of minutes + texting + decent (5+ gb) data, and see that Sprint cleans the floor with the competition by more than 5$.
 

Caliber26

macrumors 68020
Sep 25, 2009
2,224
3,063
Orlando, FL
So, with Verizon, you pay more, get less speed, and you lose the ability to surf and talk simultaneously. And when it's all said and done, Sprint isn't really all that much cheaper, and they, too, are much slower than AT&T on data. I guess if you live in an area where AT&T gives you poor coverage, you can always settle for Verizon or Sprint. I'm glad Orlando, FL has great AT&T coverage.
 

47u2caryj

macrumors newbie
Nov 10, 2010
2
0
One More Thing to Consider

AT&T doesn't use CDMA like the other two which allows both chatting and surfing at the same time.
 

budafied

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2008
110
173
I wonder if there's a comparison for family plans out there somewhere. I know that on my family plan, each person (4 total) pays about $60 a month for 700 shared minutes (we never come close), unlimited text/data after employee discounts.

$100 sounds like a lot for an iPhone monthly contract, but I'm guessing most people pay much less after family plans and corporate discounts.
 

justski

macrumors newbie
Oct 6, 2011
29
0
how to order

Does anyone know how the preorder will work if you don't have service yet with the carrier you are choosing? Do you have to sign up for a plan when you preorder or do you do all of that when you get the phone?
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,313
33
Holy jeeze i could never afford a smartphone in the us and lol at paying extra for hotspot

I tether when necessary but I don't go over 2GB per month.

Does anyone know how the preorder will work if you don't have service yet with the carrier you are choosing? Do you have to sign up for a plan when you preorder or do you do all of that when you get the phone?

In the past, you sign up for a plan when you pre-order. So it should be the same still in the US.
 

Yvan256

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2004
5,052
930
Canada
If you think that's bad, wait until you see the numbers from the Canadian carriers. Not to mention that's it's 3-years contracts up here.
 

igator210

macrumors newbie
Sep 1, 2009
27
0
I still don't understand how Data costs less then Voice / Text. It seems upside down. Mathematically, it would be a wash, but cell companies should charge $30 for voice and text and $60 from data. At least this way the higher cost would be shifted to that which causes a high strain on the cellular network.
 

gnasher729

Suspended
Nov 25, 2005
17,980
5,554
Well hopefully that will stop the "Sprint is more expensive than AT&T!" people from yapping. Also I want to cry after I saw how much I pay yearly for a stupid phone.

edit: Also note that only the 2GB/data plan is slightly more expensive than Sprint. Add on the top tier (Since Sprint is currently truly unlimited) and let's see the price difference.

Every carrier started with unlimited, and then unlimited showed its limitations. Because if Verizon and AT&T charge $100 for 12GB of data, then Sprint is going to lose lots of money on anyone downloading 12GB for $10 a month.
 

wikus

macrumors 68000
Jun 1, 2011
1,795
2
Planet earth.
AT&T's pricing is absolutely disgusting;

$125 for only 12gb of data versus Sprint's $10 for unlimited?

What kind of idiot would chose AT&T over Sprint where both are available?
 
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