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The newest addition to the iPhone line, the iPhone 4S, was released on October 14th and is selling like hotcakes. Now, for the first time ever, the iPhone is not only available through AT&T and Verizon, but on the Sprint network as well. This, of course, begs the question – which provider has the best plan?

Choose Sprint for Heavy iPhone Data Users
That depends on the type of data user you are. Each of the three major carriers offer data consumption plans that are geared toward specific subsets of Smartphone customers. For those of us who consume data like it’s water, Sprint is the best bet. Sprint is the only service to still offer unlimited data plans. It costs $80 a month but, no matter how many texts you send or how many web pages you download, that number will remain $80.

Choose AT&T for Heavy iPhone Voice & Text Users
If you’re not really one for weathering constant streams of data, and you know you’re mobile communication will likely be limited to voice calls, AT&T is probably the wisest choice. For only $55, which is $15 less than any other carrier’s plan, AT&T provides 450 voice minutes and 2 GB of data. In terms of texting, however, AT&T becomes rather steep. Their texting plans are comprised of two options – a 20 cent per text plan or unlimited for $20 a month. Either way, the liberal texter will find himself saddled with a hefty monthly bill.

Choose Verizon if You Are A Heavy Domestic US Traveler
Verizon’s plan was designed as a medium between these two extremes. For a relatively reasonable $75 a month, Verizon customers are allocated 450 voice minutes, 250 texts, and 2 GB of data – a substantial amount that, at the same time, isn’t gluttonous.

In terms of speed, AT&T retains a slight edge. Apple engineers have found a way to harness AT&T’s HSDPA bandwidth and apply it to the iPhone 4S. However, while AT&T refers to this standard as “4G,” it is more like 3G+, and improvements in speed are minimal. Verizon has consistently tested as the most reliable network overall, and is thus often the carrier of choice for customers whose main concern is sheer workhorse dependability.

In addition, if users of the new iPhone on any carrier have cell reception problems, there are excellent cell phone signal booster options that work extremely well with iPhones.

Good luck choosing your carrier.

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