3G vs 4G - should I get a 3G phone now or wait 'til 4G is available

I am a Verizon Wireless customer living in the suburbs of NYC. I have a "dumb phone" right now, but am eligible to upgrade. I am thinking of getting a Droid Incredible, but am hesitating because Verizon is now rolling out their 4G network. From what I understand, the rollout won't be completed until 4Q12 -- almost 2 years from now. So --
(1) since I would be signing up for a 2-year contract, is it more sensible to get the 3G Incredible phone now, or get the Thunderbolt 4G-capable phone in anticipation of 4G becoming available in the not-too-distant future (which could be as long as 18+ months away), or just keep my dumb phone until 4G is available in my area and then upgrade my phone
(2)What is the advantage of 4G over 3G -- is it only access speed to the internet; if so, how significant Is 4G speed over 3G? If not, what other improvements does 4G provide?
(3) is there any sense in getting an Apple iPhone 4 instead of the Droid Incredible -- I can get two Droids for free for both my wife's and my phone vs. paying hundreds of dollars for two iPhones.
(4) AT&T is offering the iPhone 3Gs for $49. Should I consider switching from Verizon to AT&T just to get this phone? Or should I consider a Windows Phone from AT&T?
(5) Are there any other considerations I should think about that I haven't mentioned?

Thanks in advance for all responses.
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Sean ScissorsProgram Analyst IICommented:
If you have Verizon, and your phone reception is good then stick with that. Otherwise, ATT phone reception isn't great and getting the Iphone 3Gs seems like a waste. With Verizon you can get the Iphone4 4G right now...which would probably be your easiest and best bet since you already have Verizon. If you want to switch then you can wait later this year the Iphone5 will come out and its 99.9% guaranteed it will be 4G. I myself have the 3Gs and held off on the Iphone4 to wait for the Iphone5 which now I am glad as I am with ATT and have been with them for like 15 years.

Of course it's all a matter of opinion and largely depends on what you are looking for. Iphones (unless jailbroken) are pretty un-customizable contrary to people's beliefs. However mine is Jailbroken and i feel it beats any Droid phone out there with the added extra capabilities.  Again just a matter of opinion but what is your primary purpose to switch to a smartphone in the first place? Is it gaming, app stores, multitasking? Figure that out first then we can help decide which phone/service would be best for you.
Never purchase personal technology for a "need" that is two years out. Two years from now, what ever you bought today will suck. Don't wait for 4G. Forget you ever heard of 4G. Just get the phone that meets your needs today. The phone is practically free compared to what you spend on the contract. Prioritize for 1:Good call quality in your area with a service plan you can live with. 2. Features vs. Ease of Use. Features are useless when they become too cumbersome and convoluted. iPhones are simple and elegant and do a million things. If you want to geek out to a Droid, get the one that does what you want today, not 18 months from now.

If you get the iPhone, get the 4. It's way cooler. The $49 iPhone would be a nice gift for someone not paying the bills.

Final consideration: ATT vs VZ - try both services in your home and at your work and if possible along your commute. You will hate your "smart" phone when your calls are dropped 'cause your with the wrong service. Figure that out first and then get an iPhone 4. You'll love it.
And if I may add a pedantic little note in reply to Scissors85, the Verizon iPhone 4 is *not* 4G - no iPhone is. Some of the Verizon phones do support it and for what it is worth, NYC is very well served by Verizon.

And as mccrick said, get what you want. I'm an iPhone user, I love my iPhone 4 and would recommend one to anybody but I think I could love a 'Droid too if I had one. They are both the current best of breed when it comes to smartphone technology and Verizon offer some amazing deals on Android handsets (and from my girlfriend's recent experiences, were certainly pushing them hard in the stores) so if the immediate cost of upgrading pushes you towards Google I don't think you'll be disappointed. Apple works for me but then I run the IT for a small company which is all Mac, we all have iPhones and I've used an iPod and iTunes for years so it fits my bill.

YMMV... :-)



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