Verizon Customers Suffer from iPhone Jealousy, Says Survey
Verizon has offered its subscribers the Motorola Droid and HTC Droid Incredible - arguably the strongest Android offerings on the market - but still it's the Apple iPhone they want.
While a May 4 ChangeWave survey found Verizon Wireless subscribers to be the most satisfied in the mobile industry - with 49 percent calling themselves "very satisfied," compared to 35 percent of Sprint Nextel customers, 23 percent of T-Mobile customers and 23 percent from the AT&T crowd - more than half are interested in a smartphone that they currently don't have access to.
Among the combined Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile subscribers surveyed, 49 percent said they'd be "very" or "somewhat" likely to buy an iPhone, should one become available on those networks.
Among Verizon customers alone, that figure rose to 53 percent.
"In sum, the survey results show an unprecedented level of pent-up demand for the iPhone among Verizon subscribers," states the report. "If Verizon were ever to offer the iPhone, the evidence points to it having a profound and likely transformational impact on the industry."
Also pointing to consumers' desire for the iPhone are industry-low churn rates. Despite AT&T's low customer satisfaction rating and the highest dropped-call rate in the industry, only 8 percent of AT&T customers said they were likely to switch providers in the next 90 days - compared to 7 percent of Verizon's, 10 percent of Sprint's and 14 percent of T-Mobile's.
"AT&T's low churn rate - despite its relatively poor Very Satisfied rating and its high percentage of dropped calls - is attributable to the huge advantage it continues to maintain as the exclusive U.S. service provider for the Apple iPhone," reports ChangeWave.
Apple is rumored to be at work on a version of the iPhone that would be compatible with Verizon's CDMA-based network, though Apple has never confirmed nor denied such rumors. It's expected that Verizon will receive its own iPhone once AT&T's exclusivity contract with Apple expires, likely in early 2011.
"It's [Apple's] call," Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said at an April 6 press conference. "Eventually it's our view we'll get to carrying Apple."
The ChangeWave survey also found a small uptick in the number of consumers planning to switch to Sprint in the next 90 days - which could be due, said the researcher, to its "new 4G wireless offer combined with some of the lowest price plans in the industry." While other networks have plans to support 4G technology, Spring currently offers it through WiMax provider Clearwire.
T-Mobile also saw a small rise in the number of respondents planning to switch to it - from 3 percent to 5 percent - while both AT&T and Verizon saw small falls between December 2009 and March 2010, from, respectively, 21 percent to 18 percent and 31 percent to 27 percent.