Verizon vs AT&T iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: price, talk and surf, wait times

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have come to Verizon and AT&T among other outlets. But the nation’s two premier carriers are in a major marketing battle for customers, and the new Apple smartphones are emerging as the centerpiece of that battle. Because the antenna technology for each is different, and because contracts lock buyers in regardless, choosing the right carrier at the time of an iPhone 6 purchase is vital. Factors ranging from price, to the controversial talk and surf feature, to the wait times for the highly-in-demand new iPhones are a factor. Here’s a breakdown of how each factor plays on each of the two carriers.

Price: The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus come with the same up-front price tag whether you purchase them from AT&T or Verizon. From there it’s a matter of the cost of the monthly payments, which gets complicated fast depending on the size of the data plan and the number of shared users. The short of it is that AT&T is modestly cheaper on a monthly basis than Verizon for the same type of plan under most circumstances. But then Verizon’s network quality rates out higher in various third party studies.

Talk and surf: For year the primary argument for the AT&T iPhone came down to the fact that the Verizon iPhone inexplicably couldn’t access the internet while a user was on a phone call unless wi-fi was available. But Verizon has finally corrected this with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, effectively wiping out what had been one of AT&T’s best selling points.

Wait times: Those ordering an iPhone 6 or particularly an iPhone 6 Plus online will face delays of varying length depending on the model they pick, the capacity, and so on. However, whether a given particular model is for AT&T or Verizon doesn’t currently have any effect on online wait times. Those in a hurry may consider visiting a retail store, as some Verizon and AT&T stores do have certain iPhone 6 models in stock to buy with no waiting.