Don’t Buy a Verizon iPhone — Yet

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Now that the Verizon iPhone is here, you may be tempted to rush out and buy one, but there’s no good reason to, unless you’re extremely impatient or you don’t care that much about money. If neither of those descriptors applies to you, then you’re better off waiting.

The phone that Verizon is announcing today is nearly eight months old. That makes it a senior citizen given Apple’s established iPhone hardware upgrade cycle of 12 months. The next iPhone will almost certainly make its debut at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference in June, and should go on sale not long after that. There’s no reason to expect it not to be leaps and bounds better than its predecessor. More processing power, better battery life, and maybe even NFC all seem to be in the cards.

Judging by the images from the Verizon announcement earlier today, Apple has indeed redesigned the antenna system that forms the outside border of the iPhone 4 for this launch. Presumably, that’s to mitigate any potential antenna reception issues. It’s a nice touch if it works, but not nice enough to justify locking yourself into a two-year contract a scant few months before a complete hardware overhaul.

Verizon offers no advantage in pricing for the hardware; the 16 GB model will cost you $199 on a two-year contract, and the 32GB version is still $299. Verizon does allow the iPhone 4 to connect up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices to share its mobile network connection via Personal Hotspot capabilities. That’s a big advantage, but one that’s not going anywhere on next-generation devices. As for data pricing, that’s to be determined still, and could confer a slight advantage.

If you want an iPhone from Verizon, it must be awfully tempting now that it’s here. But remember that today’s announcement isn’t a limited-time only offer; it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. And if you’ve managed to survive this long with whatever alternative solution you have been using, you can make it a few more months. Trust me, once the excitement wears off, those who waited will be much better off.

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