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AT&T, Verizon cede ground to Sprint with iPhone 4S

updated 12:20 pm EST, Wed November 9, 2011

Verizon loses most share

Both AT&T and Verizon have given up US iPhone share to Sprint with the advent of the iPhone 4S, according to data from Localytics. Whereas 60 percent of iPhone 4 owners are on AT&T, and 40 percent are on Verizon, AT&T's lead is just 56 percent for the iPhone 4S. Verizon appears to be suffering the most with the new phone, sitting at 32 percent; in all Sprint currently has 12 percent of 4S subscribers.

AT&T is thought to have several factors working in its favor. 4S download speeds are much faster on the AT&T network, which also allows for simultaneous voice and data. Businesswise AT&T has a large pool of existing iPhone subscribers, many of whom are thought to be near or at the end of their contracts. Localytics suggests that based on its data, AT&T appears to be successfully exploiting the 4S to get people to sign up for new two-year contracts.

Sprint's one advantage is unlimited data, since it is currently the only US carrier to offer the option for iPhones outside of some grandfathered AT&T plans. Some Sprint subscribers have been reporting unusually slow 3G data however, and there appears to be no fix in sight. Apple is said to be helping the carrier to troubleshoot.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. sunman42

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2011


    A little arithmetic

    Let me pose an alternate explanation for the mathematical geniuses who claim download bandwidth may have something to do with it. As the piece did mention, "AT&T has a large pool of existing iPhone subscribers, many of whom are thought to be near or at the end of their contracts."

    Let's even guess that people who use carriers that offer iPhones and are most likely to buy a new iPhone are existing iPhone customers whose two-year contracts have expired, or gotten close enough that their criers are providing similar discounts to those offered people signing new contracts. The obvious difference between AT&T and Verizon is --- wait for it --- is that no Verizon iPhone customer was using an iPhone on that network before March of this year, and so they all have 16 - 17 months or more to go on their initial contracts, if they don't want to pay a steep premium for a new 4S. I'm guessing there are many Verizon iPhone 4 users who would love to have uses, but aren't willing to pay another $300 or so for the privilege.

    Just a guess.

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