updated 12:55 pm EDT, Fri July 23, 2010
US iPhone users happy with ATT in most places
In spite of AT&T's reputation, US iPhone owners are happier on average with the network than the rest of the industry, the Yankee Group found in a study today. About 73 percent of those with Apple's phone were "very satisfied" with AT&T. While not high, the group is above the 69 percent average for the industry and AT&T's own slightly below average 68 percent.
Analyst Carl Howe explained the approval as another instance of a halo effect created by the device: subscribers "transfer the high gloss" of the iPhone to the carrier and are more willing to forgive any perceived flaws. AT&T customers typically pay more than most smartphone customers in the US, particularly Sprint and T-Mobile users. Certain cities are also known as trouble spots, such as New York City and San Francisco; Yankee Group researchers didn't study satisfaction by region to see if this had an effect.
Android's effect on Verizon customers wasn't studied, although the CDMA network has quickly become the home of Google's platform and has had multiple high-profile launches in less than a year.
The subject of loyalty has grown steadily more important for AT&T as signs have mounted that its exclusive period for the iPhone is nearing its end. Most talk has centered on a Verizon model, but a T-Mobile version may be ready soon as well. Many have anticipated mass defections from AT&T in areas where its service is overwhelmed to whichever new carriers are available. [via CNN]