When AT&T’s monopoly on the iPhone ends in the U.S., it is not going to be pretty. With increasing evidence that Verizon is preparing to offer the iPhone 4 early next year, many people are waiting before buying one or upgrading. Many of those are existing AT&T customers who want the same phone on a better network. According to a new survey by market research firm Morpace, 34 percent of AT&T iPhone owners are waiting for the iPhone to be available on another carrier before upgrading, and a full 47 percent of current AT&T iPhone owners say they would consider switching to Verizon. So almost half of AT&T customers surveyed are not completely satisfied with AT&T’s network.
Those aren’t just angry bloggers. Morpace surveyed 1,000 consumers, and 29 percent (across all carriers) said they are likely to buy a phone from Verizon. Of those, the majority (51 percent) are existing Verizon customers.
These survey results suggest two things. First, there are going to be a lot of people switching from AT&T to Verizon. Second, when Verizon does get the iPhone, it could start to hurt Android sales. Verizon is the biggest seller of Android phones. If 51 percent of Verizon customers are likely to buy an iPhone, that will definitely put pressure on Android sales. So far, Android has been the best choice for Verizon customers looking for a smartphone. When the iPhone becomes an option, the choice won’t be so simple and iPhone sales will begin to cut into Android’s share on Verizon.
The other unknown here is how Verizon’s network will be able to handle all the increased data traffic from new iPhone users. Everyone assumes that it has a better network, but a few million iPhone subscribers could quickly test its limits. Then everyone is going to want to switch back to AT&T.