AT&T Customers Remaining Loyal as Verizon and Sprint Gain iPhone

MarketWatch reports on comments from AT&T executive Glen Lurie noting that the carrier's churn rate has remained steady since Verizon and Sprint began offering the iPhone earlier this year. Some observers had expected that AT&T might experience a significant amount of customer defection once it lost iPhone exclusivity in the United States, as the carrier has been the target of a number of complaints about network coverage and other issues.

"Churn has not moved at all," said Glen Lurie, president of emerging devices for AT&T. Churn refers to the number of customers who cancel services.

Lurie said the carrier's relationship with Apple Inc. AAPL +0.06% , maker of the iPhone, has been positive, and they've had record-breaking sales of the latest iPhone 4S which has led to some supply issues. U.S. consumers are looking at a week to two week wait times to get the latest iPhone 4S from AT&T, he said.

AT&T continues to hold several advantages over its rivals when it comes to the iPhone, with one of the major ones being network data speed. With the iPhone 4S supporting HSPA+ technology, AT&T can offer significantly faster speeds for the iPhone than Verizon and Sprint can on their CDMA networks. Sprint users in particular have complained of very slow data speeds on the iPhone 4S so far.

att logo
As the only GSM-based iPhone carrier in the United States, AT&T is also able to offer the iPhone 3GS free on contract, while Verizon and Sprint start with the $99 8 GB iPhone 4 as their low-end devices. While the pricing difference becomes negligible once the total cost of a two-year service contract is accounted for, customers are still attracted to the low upfront cost of the iPhone 3GS, as evidenced by the fact that it remained the second best-selling smartphone in the U.S. behind the iPhone 4 heading into the iPhone 4S launch.

While a loss of iPhone exclusivity has apparently proven to not be an issue for AT&T's customer retention, the expansion to Verizon and Sprint has had an effect on the one major U.S. carrier still not offering the iPhone: T-Mobile USA. That carrier noted as part of its earnings discussion last week that customer churn due to the iPhone continues to be an "area of concern" for T-Mobile.

Top Rated Comments

charlesdayton Avatar
123 months ago
I have been with them since the beginning of Cingular. Never had a problem with the service and my current plan fits my needs, so personally I have no reason to switch.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macinthetosh Avatar
123 months ago
Also, AT&T allows simultaneous voice and data. This is huge when talking and looking something up, or when tethering.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
happydude Avatar
123 months ago
i use voice plus data too much to switch. my at&t coverage is decent, so until verizon or sprint offer data plus voice, i'm not switching.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rockametrics Avatar
123 months ago
"Dumb Pipe is able to foster brand loyalty."

Strange times we live in, but there you have it.
Voice and Data at same time is huge.
Faster Data speeds
Since I'm the primary on my family plan I get an upgrade every year. That would be worth it to me alone.

I do have some hits and misses with coverage where I live, but no big deal. When I travel for work I have no issues at all. I'll never go back to big red. Sprint has awful coverage IMO. already had them and won't go back either.
Verizon's arrogance is too much for me anyway. They'll always be the red-headed step child IMO. :eek:
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RobNYC Avatar
123 months ago
I would think the unlimited data plans a lot of AT&T subscribers still have would be a reason to stay. If you jump ship now you lose that.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xxBURT0Nxx Avatar
123 months ago
I really want to ditch ATT, just can't decide if the other carriers will be better enough to warrant my ~$150 ETF at this point. Still debating whether to ride it out until the iPhone (6) or if I should just jump ship to vzw or sprint now and get a 4S.....

Any customers with sprint or vzw that can chime in on improved call quality and signal strength in the Denver/Metro area?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
iPhone 13 Battery Life Feature

DigiTimes: iPhone 13 Pro Models to Feature 120Hz ProMotion Refresh Rate and 15-20% Less Power Consumption

Friday April 9, 2021 12:52 am PDT by
The two premium "Pro" models of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will be equipped with a low-power LTPO display, enabling the iPhones to have a 120Hz refresh rate, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. According to today's paywalled report, Apple suppliers Samsung and LG Display are in the process of converting parts of their production capacity to produce LTPO ...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
fortnite apple featured

Epic's Case Against Apple in Australia Might Be Over

Friday April 9, 2021 12:21 pm PDT by
Epic Games and Apple are involved in a highly public lawsuit in the United States, but Epic has also sued Apple in other countries, including Australia, in an attempt to boost its chances of getting a favorable ruling. Things aren't quite going Epic's way, however, as the justice overseeing the case today decided that he's going to let the two companies battle it out in the United States. ...
Apple TV Ray Light Teal Film

Apple Wants to Draw Subscribers to Apple TV+ With More Feature Films

Friday April 9, 2021 10:27 am PDT by
Apple is ramping up its efforts to produce feature films, according to a new report from The Information. Apple has a limited number of high profile films already, including "Palmer," "Cherry," and "Greyhound," and sees it as a way to draw more people into Apple TV+. Apple has been telling studio executives that it is aiming to do more than 10 to 12 original movies per year for Apple TV+,...