ChangeWave: AT&T iPhone users looking to switch to Verizon?

AT&T Users Switching to Verizon

A new survey from ChangeWave takes a closer look at how the Verizon iPhone may shake up the mobile market, revealing the highest churn rate AT&T has seen since ChangeWave began surveying mobile subscribers. A total of 4,050 subscribers were surveyed, with 15% of AT&T and T-Mobile users saying they were likely to switch carriers in the next 90 days, compared to only 4% from Verizon.

Diving even deeper with AT&T specifically, things don't look much better. The survey was conducted before the Verizon iPhone was officially announced, but still shows 16% of AT&T subscribers were looking to jump ship to Verizon once they have the iPhone. Another 23% said they weren't sure, but could possibly make the switch. But when they looked at AT&T iPhone users only, they found as high as one-in-four (26%) were likely to leave AT&T for Verizon.

This somewhat falls in line with our own poll showing 41% of readers would be sticking with AT&T, while 15% were willing to switch for the Verizon iPhone. Although 15% is a pretty big chunk, it doesn't feel like we'll be seeing a mass migration from AT&T to Verizon, although the impact will definitely be felt by AT&T in the coming months.

The culprit? It looks like AT&T users aren't satisfied with reception under the network (42%) along with issues with dropped calls (27%), and although AT&T has been making upgrades to their infrastructure (dropped call rates dropped from 6% to 4.7% since the last survey) to help with the problem, it may be too little too late for AT&T with some of their iPhone customers.

So how much do you think the Verizon iPhone could disrupt the carrier market? And more specifically, will you be making the switch yourself? Let us know in the comments!

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Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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Reader comments

ChangeWave: AT&T iPhone users looking to switch to Verizon?


I've been surfing the comments on numerous websites and it looks like most people are willing to wait for a new iPhone 5 announcement/ do not want to spend the money for the switch for the Verizon network.
I'm rather excited to be moving, my contract started in July of last year but I'm more than willing to break it for some better coverage so Feb 10th is my day!
Verizon may be slower but I'll take reliability and network coverage over faster speeds in a heart beat. I can wait a few extras seconds if even that to download a song or load a web page.

@John, I agree 100%. ATT always touts the "Surf and Talk", but that feature does little for me, when my data is timing out constantly. I'd take reliability over what ATT offers, though I'm personally going to wait until iPhone 5, or LTE.

Well your also looking on tech Websites where people know a thing or two about apple and there product cycles. But the average person who really wants an iPhone will probably buy one without thinking.

The only reason I'm staying on AT&T is the fact that I have unlimited data...I mostly text so I rarely see the dropped calls.The only thing I don't like about them is the spotty coverage.

It is up to the carriers, like mms and tethering. I had to comment because of the "please read". I thought that was funny.

If you want to switch them do it, I have had att for 10 years and have never had issuses in Cleveland or Columbus. It all depends on how the network is where u live and work

I agree with you Patrick! I have had AT&T for many years when I lived in Columbus Ohio and still now living in San Francisco... I have yet to have any problems in either of these places.

I had a Storm I on Verizon and couldn't hear my wife too well when I called her. Then I got the iPhone on AT&T and the voice quality seemed to improve. I jumped back to Verizon for the Droid X and now I can't hear her again.

Like they say about elections, the only "poll" that matters is what people actually DO, not what they say they will do.
A week ago, I was hopeful that the new Verizon iPhone would be an improvement in some way over what I had (AT&T 3GS). Maybe it would be a speed bump or increased storage. I fully expected I would be paying my AT&T early termination fee and switching.
The reality? For me, moving to VZW would be a lateral move, at best. Their pricing is identical, their coverage (for me) is equivalent, and the lack of international roaming and simultaneous voice and data are major turn-offs.
So I bought an unsubsidized, no-commitment AT&T iPhone 4 instead. Works great, happy customer. If something better comes along in the spring I can flip this and get it, or wait for LTE with no strings.

As a very long term AT&T customer I honestly never had an issue with service or dropped calls. Im not bagging on vzw now, to each his or her own, but I welcome all the movers as it will definitely ease up the strain on AT&T. I mean before the iPhone was att ever a bad company? Did they have so many complains? If u look at the times then compared to now u see that being the only network to carry such a data hungry phone that not only uses so much data but can b dine while on the phone?! Non stop data usage. So that several millions of iPhones on one network using data constantly. What network wouldn't have strains?? Movers, begone and let the good times roll.

I've been an AT&T customer for a long time and will continue to be one. I've used Cingular, Verizon, and ATT over the years and they basically all have the same pros and cons. If my only purpose is to make phone calls, then Verizon is the place to be. However, between texting, Facebook, and other modes of communication, I really don't get on the phone all that much. If I figure that I use my iPhone 80% of the time for non-phone features and 20% of the time talking on it, then having a faster network that allows me to access both data and voice is a good thing. If Verizon can improve network performance and allow for multi-tasking, then I may consider it more seriously.

i still remember when cingular was the cooler place to be and verizon was more for business and older generations. since iphone came out and cingular rebranded itseld into the "new at&t" things just went downhill for them. it's quite a sad story really. .

The largest chunk of people surveyed leaving AT&T are people that have no business having an iPhone anyway because they simply don't have coverage in their area. It's like giving people a free Lamborghini and not having a gas station within driving distance. Filling the tank and it running out before you make it home. And I see it every single day on the AT&T Facebook page I've been going there everyday for 16 months. Same BS. "I'm only on AT&T for the iPhone" someone do a poll of people that have coverage in their area that have the phone. I live east of San Francisco and I pull 5mb down and 1.2 up. Never a dropped call. Verizon data here. 800kb at it's high point.

I'm in Sacramento, and AT&T really blows here. At my work, I barely get any reception and even just checking email can take a minute or two, while those with Verizon don't seem to have problems playing videos from YouTube.
I'm not willing to pay the ETF and the cost of new phones just to be behind the curve in a few months when IPhone 5 comes out, but I will probably jump ship then. Definitely when my two years are done.
Also, the mobile hotspot is a big deal for me. I jailbreak now for MyWi but I have no other reason to jailbreak and I would love to not have to worry about upgrading to the latest software version, but I can't live without my iPhone to iPad tethering.

What I find funny is people who claim to have AT&T issues with their iPhone's and are happy Verizon is finally getting it so they can have "great" coverage. How silly are you to get a phone, not have great service and still put up with it, regardless of the phone it just baffles me that people get a phone just cause they want it but can not call out but will still keep it.
It is not AT&T's fault, it is your fault for selling yourself on something you knew would not work for you but you kept it any way.

Exactly, this is where a majority of the complaints come from. That's why these stupid surveys are so flawed. You tell someone that they can't have an iPhone and they want to go on a rampage against the company. No other phone causes this kind of commotion. Any other phone people pick the carrier. The iPhone they pick the phone regardless if they have service or not.

In my area they just added 3G, which is great, but I'm also getting more dropped calls. Verizon also has far more mobile subscribers where I live, which means that I would get more M2M minutes, but the Verizon network might get far more stress with all the people who have waited for the iPhone and are finally jumping on the iBandwagon.
I'm still undecided as far as what I want to do.

I won't switch yet, Will switch after the iPhone 5 is released if it is LTE....

  1. No early upgrades for VZW iPhone.. I always refresh every year & I hear you must have 2 year contract... I pay will pay $499 to upgrade to the iPhone 5 this year on AT&T if I stay or in September after 14 months I can get full discount price $199/$299. So in 2012 I can choose to get the iPhone 6 for $199/$299 Now Verizon could win my heart if they give me a 1 year contract on the iPhone for $299/$399.
  2. I like talk & surf at the same time but Verizon said a fix is in the works so not that big of a deal.
  3. I don't know the data pricing yet.. Then who is gonna have the better LTE pricing AT&T or VZW (I think VZW)
  4. My biggest issue with AT&T is that I get 1mbps during the day & can get 3-4mbps on AT&T @ night. CDMA is slow by design & VZW has the largest map but the slowest speeds with 877kbps.. so for me if I hate the slow speed on AT&T it would be worst on VZW.
  5. If the iPhone 5 is HSPA+ Then it will be faster & I will have to stay with AT&T for the speed. If it is LTE for VZW & only LTE Ready for AT&T then I will bounce to VZW if pricing is right & upgrade at full price.

Not surprised one bit. I'm not leaving to good service where I am. Never had a problem with AT&T good coverage no dropped calls 15% off my bill. Awesome. My gf on the other hand has a BB tour on verizon she drops at least 2 calls a day and some times has no service in her house and when out of the city. lol reliable my butt. But I guess it depends on where you live.

Why did some people go to AT&T if the they had little to no coverage? Hope you people that are switching to big red check there map and see how there coverage is before jumping ship. Reliability does not mean good coverage.

As much as I want to switch back to verizon I am going to wait for two reasons 1.) I don't want to pay the high ETF 2.) I would much rather have a verizon iPhone on the LTE network.

I have been with AT&T for awhile and I have so many drop calls. It's terrible. I don't know if it's the phone or the reception. I have an iPhone 4 and live in the Los Angeles area. My friends hate talking to me because of my dropped calls and spotty reception. Wish I had a different phone so I could witch is the culprit.

You are both absolutely right! I need to take that into account more often but fail to.
Sadly I'm jumping ship despite them not having unlimited (all carrier) MMS & SMS. I need better coverage on military installations and at home, att falls a tad short which is a bummer because they were great when it was cingular!

I think it is so funny how people say VZN is so much better than AT&T! I think what it really comes down to is what network is best in your area and how you are going to use the phone.
Remember people AT&T has already grown with the iphone VZN has not so there will be some issues that AT&T had with VZN once the iphone goes live!
Also the people who switch to VZN from AT&T may not be happy as the phone on CDMA is going to work differently! I say if it aint' broke don't fix it! Not only that I think we will see a new iphone on AT&T before one on VZN so I would really hold off on switching!
My coverage is great and yeah I get a dropped calls every now and then but over all I have been happy and I have unlimited data on my phone and everything works the way I want it!
I know friends and family that have VZN have had issues especially traveling as my parents drove from Austin to California and most of the way there they could not use their VZN phone and when they got to their destination they had to use a land line to talk as the service was so poor and people there who had AT&T were able to get a good signal.
I was on Sprint's network with CDMA and I HATED it as it was slow and very clunky and their phones were awful and their tech support was bar none the worst that I ever come across so I would NEVER go back to CDMA phones again!! I will stick with GSM as you can also travel overseas with it as all other countries use GSM!
So I say to all you who are wanting to jump onto the VZN network WAIT do your research and don't make a hasty decision as you may end up paying for it in the long run as you will have to #1 pay a termination fee #2 buy a new phone #3 pay for a new plan and and after doing all that you may end up spending close to $1000 once everything is said and done and depending if VZN charges you a deposit as well!
So research research and know what you're getting into ahead of time!
One good thing out of it is that AT&T will have to compete now with VZN and the plans and data prices will get more competitive and will be better in the long run for us AT&T people! As when VZN did their 69.99 plan AT&T dropped theirs to 69.99!
Competition is a good thing for everyone!!

At, we are already seeing an increase in people selling their iPhones. We assume it is in anticipation of the iPhone for AT&T. We can make the transition much easier since we will currently pay up to $450 for an iPhone 4 or up to $215 for an iPhone 3Gs. That will go a long way in paying any switching fees and/or the purchase of the new iPhone.

I am leaving AT&T and I hope someone who is looking for an AT&T iPhone 3GS 16g is for sale once I switch to Verizon if they offer me a good deal & plan for that iPhone 4 that AT&T wants $399.00!!!!

Where I live (DC Metro area), Verizon is not any better that AT&T. For me, AT&T has been great. I've had them for years and they are definitely WAY better than they used to be. I've always received great customer service and have had almost no issues with dropped calls. I've certainly had no more significant issues when compared to my family members who have Verizon.
That said, I'm glad Verizon is getting the iPhone because competition is never a bad thing. But I won't be switching. So long as AT&T keeps up what they're doing, I will stay a happy, loyal customer.

I am definitely switching back. I left verizon to get an iPhone but i loved verizon coverage and service. I hate AT&T. Can't wait o switch back.

Consumer Reports, which accepts no donations or advertisements from manufacturers or service providers, has rated Verizion as the best mobile provider, and AT&T as the worst. That is all I need to hear. My only decision now is whether to wait for the iPhone 5. With nearly two feet of snow on the ground outside my window, July seems to be a long ways away.

I hear that AT&T on the east coast works fine (don't know if it's true), but on the west coast... it's awful. Personally I am going to switch to Verizon right away (I live in LA). I am tired of dropped calls, and when the calls work, the reception is very bad. Bye bye AT&T.