AT&T may take a big hit as a result of Verizon Wireless getting the iPhone, according to a survey from ChangeWave.
According to ChangeWave’s survey of 4,050 people completed before Verizon’s iPhone announcement, 26 percent of AT&T’s current iPhone owners said they would likely switch to Verizon if it began offering the iPhone. Of AT&T’s overall subscribers, 16 percent said they were likely to move to Verizon once it began selling the iPhone.
ChangeWave said AT&T’s efforts to improve its service were showing results, but weren’t enough to stop customers from moving to other carriers like Verizon in the near term.
“The Verizon iPhone is causing a major transformational shift in the wireless industry, and for now the momentum clearly favors Verizon,” said ChangeWave vice president of research Paul Carton in a statement.
ChangeWave’s predictions come amid of a spate of other estimates about how many customers would move to Verizon for the iPhone.
Stifel Nicolaus analyst Chris King estimates that between 5 million and 6 million of AT&T’s current iPhone subscribers could move to Verizon over the next two years, but contracts and steep early termination fees are likely to stem the tide of defections, at least in the near term.