Is Consumer Reports Right In Warning Against The Verizon iPhone?

It seems we aren’t the only ones to think it’s wise to hold off buying the Verizon iPhone. Consumer Reports recently made a recommendation against buying the highly anticipated device. Apple can’t seem to get any slack from the CR guys; when iPhone 4 first came out, CR finally made the recommendation against buying it, though after a few tries.

It comes as no surprise that Consumer Reports recommends against buying the Verizon iPhone, but maybe for different reasons than you think. But first, lets talk about why you would buy the Verizon iPhone.

Why to buy:

  • Verizon is a very good carrier (among the most satisfying for coverage)
  • Wifi Hotspot (though there are rumors suggesting AT&T’s willingness to add this)

Why to hold off next month:

  • Verizon has adjusted its early upgrade terms (you must now be with Verizon for at least 20 months, more on that below)
  • Still unsure if antenna problem is fixed (Verizon essentially gets the same phone; bumpers are no longer free)
  • iPhone 4 is no longer cutting edge (why people are excited about last years tech, we cannot say)
  • It’s not 4G (again, more on that below)
  • Not a worldly traveler (CDMA phones are not able to be used many places outside of the US)
  • No simultaneous use of data and voice (actually a bigger deal than one would think)
  • Paying top dollar for almost a year old tech (sadly, no price breaks)

As you can see from above, there are a lot of reasons against buying the “new” Verizon iPhone. And none of the above bring up the point that this summer we will get another iPhone.

The next iPhone is rumored to be a complete redesign, and will be have some impressive improvements under the hood. Consumer Reports points out that Apple will likely upgrade to the iPhone 5 this summer, leaving early Verizon customers out of the upgrade circle for another 13-14 months. Assuming Apple sticks to their 12-month product cycle Verizon iPhone virgins won’t be able to purchase iPhone 6 on day one.

Now, will iPhone 5 even be worth purchasing? If we don’t see 4G, then what could really be so good about it? It’s that very point that could have Verizon customers getting into the iPhone 4 next month. It’s a very competent device that satisfies most of its users. Plus, many simply don’t care—they’ve been waiting almost 4 years to call iPhone their device of choice.

While Consumer Reports may think the iPhone’s 3.5-inch screen is passé, remember Apple isn’t going for a big screen (that’s what iPad is for), they are going for a usable product with great battery life—tell that to the EVO 4G.

So what is the iPhone 4 doing on Verizon’s network and is it okay to not buy it? Well, I think it’s safe to say that this is just a test. A test of Verizon’s network strength and a test of how loyal AT&T customers are. Consumer Reports put it best when they said, “This is a transitional phone to tide Verizon through until the summer.”

So let’s wait. Let us watch these two giants fight it out, so that come summer, we can enjoy lower prices and better service. As Verizon COO Lowell McAdam puts it “If the press writes something long enough, eventually it becomes true.”