Majority of Verizon customers want iPhone, but analyst says not this year

Majority of Verizon customers want iPhone, but analyst says not this year

Summary: A survey found that more than half of Verizon's customers would buy an iPhone if available but an analyst says that won't happen this year.

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Here's a headline for you: If Verizon offered an iPhone, more than half of its subscribers would likely buy one. A survey conducted by ChangeWave Research found that 54 percent of Verizon's existing customers would be either very likely or somewhat likely to dump their existing device and buy an iPhone.

Until last week, I was one of them. But I refused to wait any longer - and for those 54 percent of you, I can only say: Don't hold your breath.

Brian Marshall, an analyst with BroadPoint AmTech, tells Computerworld that he no longer believes that Verizon will offer an iPhone this year and instead puts his target on the first quarter of next year. Why the change of heart? He has a theory that Apple and AT&T cut a data deal on the iPad that resulted in an extension of AT&T's exclusivity to the iPhone. (Techmeme)

Of course, this is all speculation as neither company is going to discuss details of their relationships.

I realize that Apple is wowing Wall Street with repeated blowaway quarters, with iPhone sales that continue to exceed expectations. And I also know that the iPhone has some of the highest customer satisfaction ratings out there. But how can that be, given the performance rankings of AT&T? Let's look at a couple of the findings of the ChangeWave survey:

  • Nearly half - 49 percent - of Verizon's customers were "very Satisfied" with their carrier. In comparison, 35 percent of Sprint's customers gave the carrier the same ranking. Only 23 percent of T-Mobile and AT&T's customers gave them that ranking.
  • In terms of dropped calls over the last 90 days. Verizon customers said 1.5 percent of their calls were dropped while 4.5 percent of AT&T's calls were dropped. Sprint dropped 2.4 percent of its calls and T-Mobile dropped 2.8 percent. And in the case of AT&T vs Verizon on dropped calls, Verizon saw improvement while AT&T got worse.

Previous coverage: AT&T: The iPhone's anchor

This exclusivity deal may be good for Apple and it may be good for AT&T, but is it good for consumers? I'm changing my tune from an earlier time by answering that question with a resounding "Yes!"

Why? The longer that AT&T and Apple hold the iPhone back from having what the research firm called a "profound and likely transformational impact" on the mobile industry, the longer they're giving companies like Google, RIM and now HP (with its Palm acquisition) to innovate and lure away potential iPhone owners.

I can't speak for anyone else, but that's exactly what happened to me. I wanted an iPhone but wasn't willing to switch to AT&T. Eventually, I fell in love with Android and bought the Droid Incredible. And I have no regrets.

Personally, I could care less if Apple and AT&T never end that exclusivity deal. I'm a happy guy with my Verizon-powered Droid Incredible and, even if the iPhone landed in Verizon stores tomorrow, I wouldn't buy one.

I'm one of those customers that got away.

Also: Top 10 ways the Droid Incredible killed my iPhone envy. (Gallery)

Topics: Verizon, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones, AT&T

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62 comments
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  • Surprise, surprise-NOT!

    [i]"Brian Marshall, an analyst with BroadPoint AmTech, tells Computerworld that he no longer believes that Verizon will offer an iPhone this year and instead puts his target on the first quarter of next year."[/i]

    Now he can just be wrong [i]next year[/i] too. I still say we won't see an iPhone on VZW until after they roll-out 4G in all major markets, which I don't see happening until late 2011 at earliest. Until it's got LTE most important places, Verizon doesn't get an iPhone, EV-DO just isn't as good.

    I'm surprised about how Apple not making a " 'profound and likely transformational impact' on the mobile industry" is a bad thing. Assuming half of those VZW customers are lying, the iPhone taking over a quarter of VZW's devices would put Apple a lot closer to a [i]real[/i] monopoly position that some people think they already hold. The iPhone already makes Apple a butt-load of money, a VZW iPhone might net Apple more problems than the additional revenue is worth.
    matthew_maurice
    • RE: Majority of Verizon customers want iPhone, but analyst says not this ye

      @matthew_maurice I agree with most everything you said. I would like to add is how many of those supposedly Verizon customers realize and would still want an iPhone on Verizon when they see they can not use voice and data at the same time? Verizon does not have a better network, just better coverage!

      Using a smartphone and not having the ability for checking email, calendars, addresses, websites, or using apps while on a phone call is pretty limiting and make a joke of the Verizon ads. As Droid does not really multi-task when it matters, does it? Due to Verizon's CDMA network limitations! Most all Verizon own executives and directors carry TWO cell phones for this exact reason!

      AT&T is far from perfect, but it could be said that the iPhone is already on the better network right now. Until LTE is in the most important places why would Apple bother with a Verizon deal to only have unhappy customers?
      PMUP
      • What are you smoking

        @PMUP
        <i>Using a smartphone and not having the ability for checking email, calendars, addresses, websites, or using apps while on a phone call is pretty limiting and make a joke of the Verizon ads. As Droid does not really multi-task when it matters, does it?</i>

        While I cannot navigate the web while on the phone, and I admit it is annoying, I can certainly look through my calendar, look up contacts (addresses), read any e-mails I have already received, use the navigation system, and send and receive SMS and MMS while on the phone.

        Furthermore, I don't know what multi-tasking you say the Droid is not capable of. Verizon's limits on using the data and phone network at the same time has nothing to do with multi-tasking. I can, for example, certainly listen to Pandora while reading e-mail, surfing the web, and doing any other number of tasks at the same time. Can your iPhone do that? No.


        <i>Due to Verizon's CDMA network limitations! Most all Verizon own executives and directors carry TWO cell phones for this exact reason!</i>

        Please provide evidence for your claim.

        <i>AT&T is far from perfect, but it could be said that the iPhone is already on the better network right now. Until LTE is in the most important places why would Apple bother with a Verizon deal to only have unhappy customers? </i>

        So you know for a fact the reason the iPhone is not on Verizon is because Apple doesn't want it there, rather than Verizon not needing the iPhone and thus not agreeing to Apple's demands regarding profit sharing? If you say so...
        tikigawd
      • RE: Majority of Verizon customers want iPhone, but analyst says not this year

        @PMUP Better coverage meeans fewer dropped calls. Frankly, I don't find the inability to call and use the web at the same time much of a hindrance. It depends a lot upon your paractices. As a professional, e-mail and web is most important, as a consumer voice is most important.

        Besides, 4G may change the whole picture.

        The only reason AT&T can do both at one is that data was a "add-on" service to the GSM model. (First as GPRS and then as EDGE and now as UMTS.)

        If 4G eventually supports VOIP as its primary voice transport, GSM may disappear altogether.
        M Wagner
      • Right On

        @PMUP
        You said it, what people don't realize is that although Verizon may have more coverage (I've never lost a call on AT&T) their network is still far behind AT&T's, yea Verizon may have 3G but AT&T has HSPDA, I pull ridiculous speeds in tons of places and rarely ever don't have 3G coverage. I had a first generation iPhone back when it couldn't take videos or use 3G (Who knows why) it was a fun phone, but I realized I needed some sort of productivity, not just games. Now I use the HTC Fuze, bit of a trade-off on the fun side but its productivity value is insane. The iPhone doesn't change enough for me to get another one yet so I'll probably get another HTC.
        -Jack
        vanquished
      • RE: Majority of Verizon customers want iPhone, but analyst says not this year

        @PMUP When was the last time you really needed to use Voice and Data at the same time? I've been using cell phones forever but can't think of one instance that I really needed to use both of them. Can you? And don't say GPS, because you can always get the address and call the user after you find it.
        dkleshch
    • What you forget ...

      ... is that VZW was Apple's FIRST CHOICE to carry the iPhone but Verizon was just as protective of its revenues from it's own APP store as Apple is of its revenues. Neither side would share the extra income.

      Most studies show that EVDO (rev A) is <i>better</i> than EDGE and AT&T is still not as fully built-out in 3G as VZW. The begs the question as to whether AT&T can get 4G out there faster than VZW. AT&T still thinks like a "telco" and I see no indication that they are going to be more aggressive in their build-out as they have been so far.
      M Wagner
      • RE: Majority of Verizon customers want iPhone, but analyst says not this year

        Of Course EVDO Rev A is faster than EDGE, since its a 3G speed and EDGE is only a 2G (or 2.5G) speed. Compare 1xRTT to EDGE if you want to have something fair, well, comparing those isn't really fair for Verizon.

        AT&T has been testing HSDPA 7.2 recently (I got like 5Mb while enabled the other day). They have a middle-ground before LTE, which should help. Verizon doesn't have this step in their road map, so AT&T technically doesn't have to beat Verizon to LTE, they just have to keep making progress in keeping their customers happy. To me this shows they are being smart and agressive in thier built-outs.
        spokanedj
      • RE: Majority of Verizon customers want iPhone, but analyst says not this year

        @mwagner@... Apple did it again. This time it's going to be a "the phone to own" for the next Generation. Video chat will win over all the under 25 year olds and the new look and feel will have the executive group pulling out there cheque (check) books <a href="http://www.arabaoyunlarimiz.gen.tr/cografya-oyunlari/">cografya oyunlari</a>
        RahinBen
  • RE: Majority of Verizon customers want iPhone, but analyst says not this year

    i'm not one of them.
    g_keramidas@...
    • Me neither. (nt)

      (nt)
      NetAdmin1178
      • Me either (NT)

        I love my Motorola Droid (though I should have waited for the HTC Incredible)
        Jack Williams
    • RE: Majority of Verizon customers want iPhone, but analyst says not this year

      @g_keramidas@...
      pvawter@...
    • RE: Majority of Verizon customers want iPhone, but analyst says not this year

      @g_keramidas@... I got tired of waiting and went Droid, couldn't be happier and no one is censoring what I am reading or the development of my apps.
      pvawter@...
  • I don't want dropped calls

    GSM is not designed for the US, cities maybe, but not rural areas, and there's more of those then there are suburbs or cities.
    Maarek
  • count me out

    The iPhone is a major step backwards from a modern Android device. Sure the less aware people will run to buy their iPhone because they think its the cool thing to have. That's all about marketing. I also think Apple is holding back until they find a way to stop Verizon with their barge of Android phones. Currently the iPhone would launch and then be yesterda's news come the next Android launch.
    storm14k
  • RE: Majority of Verizon customers want iPhone, but analyst says not this year

    They do? I know a lot of people on Verizon's network and not one of them said they wanted an iPhone. In fact most of them said they have no desire for the iPhone. Its so 2007. I know I don't want one and I'm a Verizon customer.
    Loverock Davidson
    • If I went to Verizon

      It'd be for the Incredible.
      Michael Alan Goff
  • Count me as one that DOESNT want it..

    Apparently they must have polled the bay area in CA - because thats about where they would fish up that bullhockey. Im staying with Android - its lightyears ahead of the iPhone.
    JT82
  • Excellent article, Sam!

    Great job on the article! I read about this news the other day and had similar thoughts. To some degree, it surprises me that there are that many people on Verizon that would want an iPhone over what is now offered with Android; but I believe it comes down to the public's knowledge of smartphone options. While everyone knows what the iPhone is, the same can't be said of Android devices (at least with those outside of the tech industry). I think as time goes by, and Android devices become more popular and well-known with the general public, we'll see those numbers of Verizon customers wanting an iPhone dropping - considering the growth that Android has had lately, that length of time may not be that long.

    I totally agree that AT&T can keep the iPhone as long as they like, and give Android time to show customers what it can do. I know I'm looking forward to getting my first smartphone in a few months (renew time), and it'll definitely be one of the Android offerings - most likely the Droid or Incredible unless something better comes along by then.
    NetAdmin1178