Sunday, March 27, 2011

Is Verizon Really Stealing THAT Many of AT&T’s Customers?

When Verizon Wireless announced that it would be adding the Apple iPhone to its smartphone lineup, analysts predicted that the amount of AT&T iPhone customer base that switched over to Verizon could add up to as many as 50 percent. So has this really happened?

As of now, the figures concerning the iPhone user switch rate from AT&T to Verizon have not yet been released; however, early speculations seem to be saying that about 14 percent of Verizon iPhone preorders were AT&T iPhone owners who were switching over.

Although that sounds like a pretty hefty amount of customers for mere preorders, it really doesn’t seem to be bothering AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets President and CEO Ralph de la Vega. Earlier this month de la Vega said that AT&T’s mobile customer losses were within the company’s expectations.

According to reports from Mobclix, two out of every three AT&T iPhone customers who switched to Verizon’s iPhone paid the termination fee that is required by AT&T. These fees include: $325 for AT&T’s smartphone, minus $10 for every month that a user has been on the company’s two-year contract. This can be quite a chunk of change, and in addition to that users still have to go and buy a new iPhone from Verizon.

Mobclix is also saying that 14 percent of iPhone 4 users are now calling Verizon Wireless their home. Out of all the iPhone users in the world, Verizon’s customer base makes up about 4 percent. All of this information from Mobclix is being pulled from the company’s Mobclix Exchange, which is Mobclix huge advertising marketplace that goes ahead and matches different developers with any interested advertisers in a bidding atmosphere. Mobclix did some research to see why AT&T iPhone customers were switching over to Verizon.

What they found just confirms everything that every other survey about AT&T iPhones vs. Verizon iPhones has discovered. The top reason for the switch was reception quality. In the survey of 600 different Verizon iPhone users, Mobclix found that the second and third most popular reason that customers were deserting AT&T was because of “personal hot spots” and “reputation.” The personal hot spot that AT&T users were missing is a feature that allows the iPhone to serve as an Internet host for up to five devices connected via Wi-Fi, or one single device connected via Bluetooth or USB.

Although this was an initial concern, just recently AT&T released its iOS 4.3 update for iPhones that allows AT&T iPhone users to have the same personal hot spot abilities. Mobclix also went on to research where there were the highest areas of Verizon iPhone usage. They found that Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Chicago and Seattle where the cities with the most usage…big surprise.

I guess we’ll just have to see if Mobclix is accurate when the final official numbers come in. No matter, Verizon really seems to have made a dent in iPhone users that I assume will only increase from here on out.

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