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iPhone Defections Less Than AT&T Expected

When the Verizon iPhone 4 was originally announced, industry analysts and AT&T expected around 225,000 immediate defections from AT&T to Verizon. The actual number is about 75,000 less at around 150,000 contract subscribers.

AT&T Wireless’ President & CEO, Ralph De La Vega told those in attendance at the Morgan Stanley Tech Conference “We haven’t seen any surprises, and everything is pretty much within our expectations,”

Verizon is holding back any actual sales numbers of the iPhone4, however lines at Verizon and Apple Stores on launch day were virtually non-existent. Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead disputed rumors about iPhone 4’s slow sales saying they sold about 60% of their iPhones on-line.

Other AT&T subscribers quickly realized that the exact same piece of hardware they already has was being offered by Verizon and according to Consumer Reports it too is plagued with the “Death Grip” issue.

More after the break

Another factor in not switching to Verizon is that the iPhone 4 was not rolled out as a 4G LTE device and there is nothing to suggest it will be anytime soon. AT&T actually has a better, more clear path to LTE. The second largest nationwide carrier is currently rolling out phase 1 of a two phase “4G” strategy. The first batch of 4G devices, including the Motorola Atrix 4G and the HTC Inspire 4G, are on their HSPA+ network similar to that of T-Mobile.  The second phase will begin this summer and utilize UTMS/4G LTE, the same technology Verizon is offering.

The main difference in AT&T and Verizon’s 4G path is that coming from HSPA+ (A GSM based technology) to 4G/LTE (Also GSM based) will mean that the plagued “hand off” will be seamless to the end user.

We postulate that the main reason AT&T didn’t see as much defection is because the media over-hyped it in the first place and because consumers are doing more research into their wireless phone purchases.

AT&T has done a number of things to curb defections including beefing up it’s Android line up, partnering with Open Feint and Red Light Management. Also, on February 10, 2011, the day the iPhone went to Verizon AT&T introduced an unlimited any carrier mobile to mobile plan similar to Sprint’s “Any Mobile, Any Time”.

AT&T also upgraded the Samsung Captivate and HTC Aria to Android 2.2, Froyo.

Source: PC Mag

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