Tips on Switching from AT&T to Verizon

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IphonesRecent Nielsen studies show that more African-Americans own smart phones than the Caucasian demographic in the U.S. And while BlackBerry and Android-based phones are preferred over iPhones by Blacks; the few iPhone fans may be deliberating about how to best part from AT&T and make the move to Verizon for the iPhone4. Here are a few insights on how to do that in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible.

The first consideration is how best to handle the fees. For customers who bought the AT&T iPhone less than 30 days ago, they can return it. Depending upon the deal signed and city where the phone was purchased, consumers may be subject to a small restocking fee. Owners will have to return the physical phone, and should not be charged an early termination fee. For those who purchased the iPhone before June 1, 2010, AT&T’s early termination fee is $175.00, minus $5.00 for each full month of service commitment that has already been completed. If the iPhone was purchased after June 1, 2010, AT&T’s early termination fee is $325.00, minus $10.00 for each full month of service commitment already completed. If the phone was first purchased when it debuted in June 2010, AT&T will charge approximately $255.00.

Another option is to actually trade-in one’s phone. Verizon has such a program, and it is gaining popularity. Owners can get up to $265 for a 32GB AT&T iPhone 4 and approximately $210 for a 16GB model if: 1) it can make outgoing calls, 2) has a working display and 3) the display is not cracked. Verizon will evaluate the phone when it arrives, determine its value and send the owner a gift card for what they believe the phone is worth.

The next option is to actually sell the iPhone. Keep in mind that because the device operates over 3GSM, with the proper SIM card, it can be used anywhere in the world; therefore the sales market is global. From ebay to Craig’s List, it may be worth researching the options.

However, will consumers actually be interested in making the switch? Dan Nainan, a comedian and actor who relies heavily on his phone for work makes it clear that he will make the move. “As far as the difficulty, I have a few friends who said that it’s been the easiest thing in the world to switch,” he says. “I’m switching because of the service level of AT&T in New York. Sure I can surf the Internet and make calls on my AT&T iPhone, but to me, it’s more important just to be able to make a phone call.”

Jeffrey Sass, vice president of Marketing & Business Development at the mobile content company, Myxer, has an even broader perspective. “I think iPhone users who love their iPhones and have been dissatisfied with AT&T coverage where they live may be very interested in switching to Verizon, but ultimately I am not sure the iPhone 4 on Verizon will have the impact today it might have had if they introduced it a year ago,” he explains. “Today there are so many good choices for a high-end smart phone, especially with all the great Android devices available from all carriers, including powerful new phones on both AT&T and Verizon besides the iPhone. In addition, you have anticipation for a new iPhone coming soon, which may hold some folks back from grabbing an iPhone 4 now. In the end, the more choice the consumer has, the better. And the more competition among manufacturers, the more innovation we will see, leading to continued improvement in the features and functions of all smart phones. That’s a good thing for consumers, as well as for Mobile Content companies like Myxer.”

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