Moving from AT&T to Verizon with iPhone 5

Here’s a brief, step-by-step, look into the path I took to convert from AT&T iPhone 4 to Verizon iPhone 5. I’ve had many people ask me, so thought I’d just blog it for others to refer to, if it helps:

  1. If you’re on AT&T, there’s only two reasons *not* to switch. One, you absolutely need to talk and receive data at the same time over cell networks. Or, two, you don’t travel and live in a geography that has good 3G and LTE coverage already with AT&T. If not, you should switch. Many people cite that they like “unlimited data” from AT&T, but that is a misnomer because (1) they throttle you and (2) your data usage isn’t as high as you think. When I blended those costs out, it was comparable between carriers.
  2. Once I switched over to Verizon, and since my wife is already on Verizon (as is my entire family, and hers!), I ported my number from AT&T to Verizon, and added a line to my wife’s phone. This can only be done by phone with customer service. It will take some time to wait, but then they should help you. Just brace yourself for the phone call. You can order your iPhone 5, etc.
  3. Right before your the new phone arrives, I’d recommend buying iCloud from Apple and having your phone sync to iCloud. When the new phone arrives from Verizon, you can set up and restore the phone from iCloud (takes about an hour), which is *much* easier than going through iTunes and worth the extra money.
  4. I wanted to sell my iPhone 4 on AT&T, but since I was out of contract, I wanted to unlock the phone, too, to have the ability to sell to a larger market on eBay. You can place a request on AT&T to unlock your phone, and if you’re account is paid off and if you’re out of contract, they’ll unlock the phone for you. You’ll get an email notifying you, after which you can follow the instructions to restore the old phone in iTunes and then reset and erase everything. iTunes will tell you that your phone is finally unlocked. And, I was happy with my eBay experience after unlocking the phone, as it commanded a high price.

So, there you have it. More time on the phone than I’d like with customer service, but considering all the moving parts, it wasn’t that bad and now, with the iPhone 5 in hand, well worth the effort. And, if you’ve been stuck with AT&T, let me say the call quality is amazing and I never need to have data and phone at the same time. It’s so much better than AT&T, not even funny. I also had a lot of rollover minutes built up with AT&T, but it never mattered because Verizon’s plans now are unlimited talk + text, and they tier the data plans.