Feeds

AT&T chief: 'All your iPhone are belong to us'

Trapped subs ease Verizon threat

The Power of One Infographic

It's commonly accepted that AT&T's iPhone exclusivity will end soon when Apple adds Verizon to its US carriers — but AT&T's chief exec isn't worried, citing the fact that his subs are trapped.

"If you look at the iPhone base, about 80 per cent is either on a family-talk plan or in a business relationship with us," CEO Randall Stephenson told a Goldman Sachs investors conference Tuesday, according to MarketWatch. "Those customers tend to be very sticky. They don't churn very frequently."

"Sticky," that is, meaning stuck in Big Phone's standard two-year iPhone contract, unable to jump ship to Verizon without paying a substantial penalty.

Stephenson may be speaking from considered experience, or he may merely be whistling in the wind to calm investors. Just this Monday, for example, no lesser light than Credit Suisse estimated that 1.4 million AT&T subscribers will switch to Verizon if — when? — the iPhone becomes available on the largest US wireless carrier's network.

But the survey upon which Credit Suisse's estimate was based did provide some backup to Stephenson's "We've got you where we want you" analysis: of the AT&T subscribers surveyed, 23 per cent would switch to Verizon if they could, but only 3 per cent would break their contracts to do so.

Advantage, Stephenson.

However, Credit Suisse's survey also showed that around 18 per cent of AT&T iPhone subscribers would take their business to Verizon once they were out of Stephenson's clutches.

And then there was the Morpace survey that found that 34 per cent of AT&T iPhone customers were waiting for the Jobsian handset to be offered by another carrier before upgrading.

Advantage, Verizon.

Still, the AT&T headman isn't worried. He sees plenty of growth in the wireless marketplace, both for "integrated devices" (read: smartphones) and other gadgets: "We are in the very early stages of this connected-device market," he told the conference.

All these numbers and opinions must wait until the Verizon iPhone becomes available to be tested. Although neither Apple nor Verizon have made any statements regarding the matter, a gaggle of rumors points to availability beginning in January 2011.

Wednesday, by the way, brought yet another rumor: according to AppleInsider, Apple will build 3 million Verizon-capable CDMA phones this December.

Stephenson is unarguably correct when he says that the market for "integrated devices" is growing. What is arguable, however, is how big a chunk of it will be left for him after those "sticky" subs get unstuck. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.