In case you missed it, the iPhone 4 will soon be available for the Verizon Wireless network!   But should you rush out and get this “latest” technology ?    This entry focuses on decision criteria that will assist you “Keep Pace” with smart phone purchasing decisions.

For Existing Verizon Customers

Lets assume you have been anxiously waiting for the iPhone on Verizon.   Now that you can purchase an iPhone 4, consider the following:

1.  Since the original introduction, Apple has released a NEW iPhone EVERY YEAR (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone)

  • iPhone  – June 29, 2007
  • iPhone 3G – July 11, 2008
  • iPhone 3Gs – June 8, 2009
  • iPhone 4 – June 7th, 2010

While no one can guarantee Apple will announce an iPhone 5 in 2011, a review of Apple’s release history (and the ongoing competition with Android phones) it would seem reasonable to assume a new iPhone is in the wings.

2.  Reconsider the “2 year” contract

Cellular phone companies advertise phone prices based on a TWO year contract.   This means you are “stuck” with your phone for 20 months before you are allowed to upgrade your phone.

What you might not know, is that a ONE year contract is an available option ( you just  pay a little more- usually starting at $70 ).   This one year option allows you to upgrade your phone in 12 months.   As mobile phone technology is changing rapidly, this option is for those that like to “Keep Pace” with mobile phone technology.

3.  Consider an Android Phone

Android Phones are a strong alternative to the Apple iPhone.   If you compare an Android Phone to an iPhone, you will see notice several differences

  • Androids come in a number of sizes (sometimes referred to as “form factors”).   The iPhone comes in ONE size (a 3.5″ screen size) while Android phones start at 3.5″ and go up to 4.3″.
  • Android phones allow you to replace the battery – iPhone’s do not
  • Most of the applications on an iPhone have an Android equivalent

Motorola recently announced the Motorola Droid Bionic that looks to be a VERY strong competitor to the iPhone.    The Bionic is a large screen phone that is scheduled for delivery in the 1st half of 2011.

4.  Other Mobile Phone features coming in 2011

Mobile phone technologies rumored to be in the next generation of smart phones include:

  • Phones containing multiple “brains” (i.e. processors) that will make certain phone functions faster.
  • Phones with “4G” support, which is the name of the next generation of wireless networks.   While 4G promises to be faster than existing networks, it is only available in a few select cities (for the time being).
  • Front facing cameras – Adds a second camera to the front of the phone (facing the user) that will enable video calls.

Questions to ask to Keep Pace !

As no  “right” answer exists to which phone you should purchase (after all this is a personal decision), some things to consider when in the Verizon store:

  1. Do you consider the iPhone 4 to be a “I have to have it” – if so – buy it !
  2. Take a look at the larger screen Android phones.   Put one in your hand and type a note to see if it feels better
  3. If your are still going to go with an iPhone – do you go with the iPhone 4 or  wait for an iPhone 5?
  4. Do you upgrade before Verizon changes its unlimited data plan promotion for the iPhone?
  5. Do you go with a one or two year contract?
  6. For Advanced Users:   Do you get a phone that has 4G support now – or do you wait for your next upgrade?

To “Keep Pace” with future technologies