Apple Inc. has recently launched its fifth-generation iPhone on Oct. 4 and, for the first time it is selling the most amazing iPhone 4S on all three of the nation's largest wireless carriers - AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, simultaneously.

The company has created a three-way race, making it even more complex for buyers to decide which one to go for. The iPhone 4S models will be the same but the difference lies in the plans and architecture that all three carrier offer.

The new iPhone 4S has already crossed 1 million in pre-order sales in just 24 hours and surpassed all previous records of its predecessor, the iPhone 4.

According to a recent survey, undertaken to make the process of choosing service providers easier and help buyers decide on the best, PC World conducted a real-world experiment, using Ixia's IxChariot tool. The study revealed that out of the 13 cities, Verizon got the highest reliability rating in seven and Sprint got the highest one in six. AT&T didn't score highest in reliability in any cities, and was often far behind its two competitors.

The study added that Verizon got the highest download score in seven cities; Sprint scored highest in four; AT&T in two. However, AT&T had the highest upload score in ten cities; Sprint was highest in two; Verizon in only one, according to the report.

All of this means the process of selection is even more confusing, with three options for an iPhone 4S carrier and criteria like speed and preference to consider; some networks offer better speed, while others have cheaper price options.

Here is a chart that might help you choose the best for you.

Speed and Parallel Functioning

If you're major criterion is high-speed networks, AT&T is the only carrier with a GSM network and has a faster 3G network. The AT&T network should have a download speed of around 14.4 mbps with HSDPA, which is comparable to 4G. It also allows the user to simultaneously browse the web and conduct telephone conversations. Sprint Nextel, however, does not support this technology. It uses a different technology - EVDO (Evolution-Data Optimized). In addition, neither Sprint's nor Verizon's CDMA network support AT&T's high download speed or the capability for parallel functioning.


AT&T/ Verizon/ Sprint


If you're looking for an unlimited data plan, then Sprint is your best choice, with plans as low as $10 a month. There is no other wireless carrier, to date, that offers a similar plan. For 12GB of data, AT&T and Verizon Wireless charge $125 and $100 per month.


Voice and messaging plans- AT&T/ Verizon/ Sprint

Pricing Plans

Here are details on, perhaps, the most important factor affecting the choice of carrier for every buyer - the price of voice and messaging plans the carriers offer. Both AT&T and Verizon have voice plans starting from $39.99 for 450 minutes for individual plans, $59.99 for family plans and unlimited minutes-plan for $69. Upon comparison, Sprint Nextel's plans are both a little limited and a trifle more expensive.


AT&T/ Verizon/ Sprint

Mobile Hotspots and Other Plans

Some other factors influencing your decision could be that of mobile hotspots, an area where Sprint lags behind both AT&T and Verizon. Sprint has added on an extra $29.99 charge for a mobile hotspot; something that is included in the other two. Sprint's $99.9 and $109.99 plans are still cheaper when compared to the $114.99 and $119.99 plans of the other two carriers.

All said and done, buyers must be aware of the fact that it is very possible that real world performance figures, particularly for features like data transfers, may not quite match up to the claims made by the carriers. So, now that you have a bit of information at your fingertips, the decision to chose one carrier over the other is all yours. Enjoy Apple's fifth-generation iPhone!

Check out the chart for more details.

Also Read: iPhone 4 v/s iPhone 4S: iPhone 4 Price Slashed, Which to Buy?
iPhone 4S 'Record-Breaking' Pre-Order Sales Crossed 1 Million in 24 Hours