updated 11:00 pm EDT, Mon September 20, 2010
63% of iPhone owners plan to stick with AT&T
Approximately 23 percent of current iPhone owners in the US want to switch to Verizon when the opportunity arises, according to a survey conducted by Credit Suisse. The majority of subscribers intend to stick with AT&T, while a small fraction would rather sign contracts with Sprint or T-Mobile.
The survey suggests that AT&T may lose approximately 37 percent of its iPhone customer base when the carrier's exclusivity agreement expires. A separate study points to an even more dire situation for AT&T, with 34 percent of iPhone owners reportedly waiting for a Verizon offering before upgrading to a new model.
Rumors of a CDMA-equipped Verizon iPhone have circulated for several years, although the claims have yet to receive official confirmation from Apple or the carriers. iPhone distribution through several US carriers is widely accepted as inevitable, although some analysts suggest the device might head to Sprint or T-Mobile before landing on Verizon's shelves.
AT&T has maintained a positive outlook, claiming that the iPhone's departure would not have a "material negative impact" on the company's financials. The company appears to be preparing for such a loss, as many current iPhone owners were presented with an option to upgrade to the latest handset ahead of the typical upgrade schedule. SEC filings also acknowledge the end of "exclusivity arrangements."
While a Verizon iPhone may be bad news for AT&T, some analysts view the move as necessary to help Apple compete with Google in the mobile arena. Without an expansion to other carriers, the iPhone's customer base is expected to be overtaken by Android sometime in the next two years. [via Business Insider]