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How to pick a carrier for the iPhone 4S (infographic)

For the first time ever, Apple is releasing the iPhone 4S on three carriers: AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. If you're out of contract, it's a good time to rethink your provider. But how do you choose? Use this infographic to decide.

After a year and a half of silence, Apple announced the latest iPhone: the iPhone 4S. The new phone will be available October 14, with preorders starting October 7.

But this time, the iPhone 4S is available on three carriers: AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.

If you're one of those people who's been saving your upgrade, it's a good time to rethink your cell phone provider. Each carrier offers a unique advantage--like unlimited data or lightning-fast downloads--so you'll have to decide based on your lifestyle and needs.

To help you pick, we put together this no-nonsense flowchart that will guide you through the decision-making process.

Click for the full-size graphic. By Sharon Vaknin/CNET
Editors' note: Data speeds are based on iPhone 4 data tests, where Verizon was clearly the faster network. Hierarchy of data speeds in this chart are based on networks averages and should be taken with a grain of salt, as speeds will fluctuate based on region, time of day, and network usage.

The infographic was modified on October 6, 2011, to add pricing details about Sprint's unlimited plans.

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• iPhone 4S First Take
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• Full coverage: Apple's iPhone event