US fanbois await freedom from Big Phone
Over a third on hold
If, as is rumored, Verizon will end AT&T's exclusive US hold on Apple's iPhone beginning in January, it may mean big trouble for Big Phone.
That's the conclusion reached by a survey released Monday by the market-research firm Morpace, which found that 34 per cent of current US iPhone users are waiting for the überpopular handset to become available through another carrier before they upgrade.
This chart should cause some trepidation in Big Phone's executive suite (source: Morpace)
According to Morpace, the reason for iPhone users' reluctance to sign another contract with AT&T in order to upgrade is simple: "A sizeable percentage of AT&T's iPhone customers are known to have become dissatisfied with its carrier's service and/or data plans, including network coverage, dropped calls and other issues."
However, in her thorough coverage of the Morpace report, Cnet's Marguerite Reardon reminds us that although Verizon subscribers "continue to give the company high marks in terms of satisfaction for its network," they're less generous when it comes to its customer service.
Reardon reminds us that another recent survey found that when questioned about satisfaction regarding customer-service calls, users Verizon placed dead last, behind AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile — even though the company had been number one as recently as the fourth quarter of last year.
She also points out that both AT&T and Verizon have nearly identical "churn rates", meaning the percentage of users who jump from their service to another: 1.27 per cent for Verizon versus 1.29 per cent for AT&T in the second quarter of this year.
But Morpace's survey indicates that those rates may fall out of balance if — when? — Verizon begins offering the iPhone in the US.
After all, in yet another recent survey asking iPhone 4 owners what they liked least about their Jobsian handsets, the top complaint was "requirement to Use AT&T's Network". Reasons numbers three and four were also Big Phone related: "coverage/speed/quality of AT&T's 3G network", and "excessive dropped calls".
Does anyone else get irritated by...
The Reg spelling 'fanboy' as 'fanboi'? For some reason it irritates the hell out of me, probably because The Inquirer was spelling it like that long before The Reg. I need hardly remind you that The Inquirer is the absolute arse end of IT reporting on the internet, and generally stands for the worst journalism there is, so please stop copying them!
81% planning to or aready have an iphone...
And the other 19% decided they wouldn't upgrade unless Steve Jobs quits and the antennas are repaired
I read articles like this and have to wonder what came first; the crap network or the iPhone.
O2, who had the exclusive deal when the iPhone launched in the UK, now regularly come under fire for patchy and unreliable connectivity. I left them the year before they got the iPhone but it had nothing to do with their quality of service and more to do with their billing department consistently lying and demanding crazy sums for services I simply did not use. The connectivity was fine and in six years the only time I got dropped calls was on trains entering tunnels. I think O2, through their Airwave service, are responsible for carrying a large amount of UK emergency services traffic.
When people I know started getting iPhones they were tied into some hefty contracts but contracts that came with unlimited data. That data was used in various different ways but boy was it used. Music was streamed, e-mails were pushed, bank balances were checked, alerts were sent, accounts were synced.
I have no doubt the all-you-can-eat brigade will flame me for this but I have to ask if there's just a little of the whiny baby mentality about the people wanting to leave for a 'better' network. Will it really be a better network or will services and reliability slowly erode as iPhone users arrive, declare they paid a premium for everything and then moan when they can't stream 1080p video over 3G.
I suppose what I'm trying to say ask is this; is a crap network exposed when iPhone users arrive and try to take up its' services or is an OK network made crap by iPhone users arriving and demanding their service is better than everyone elses?
Perhaps I'm being unreasonable. Maybe the networks should have installed infrastructure dedicated to only iPhones or given over a larger chunk of resources to iPhone users. Maybe iPhone users are the ones being unreasonable and need reminding that paying into a buffet doesn't mean all the food belongs to you.
What will be interesting to see is if the networks who lose a significant chunk of iPhone users gain a perceived performance increase among the users who stay with them.