April 5, 2011 at 11:16 AM ET
Consumers considering buying an iPhone will likely opt for Verizon over AT&T, with 46 percent saying they'll choose Verizon, compared to 27 percent for AT&T, according to a new survey by ChangeWave Research.
The research firm did a first look at the post-AT&T iPhone exclusivity era, with Verizon now selling Apple's popular phone, surveying 4,068 consumers for its report, "AT&T iPhone 4 Owners vs. Verizon iPhone 4 Owners."
While iPhone owners on Verizon Wireless reported fewer dropped calls than those with AT&T iPhones, satisfaction with the phone on both carriers is quite high. ChangeWave said there was "virtually no difference" in satisfaction ratings between the two carriers; 82 percent of Verizon iPhone 4 owners said they're "very satisfied" compared to 80 percent of AT&T iPhone 4 owners.
"When it comes to dropped call rates, however, Verizon iPhone 4 owners reported a lower percentage of dropped calls than their AT&T iPhone 4 counterparts," the research firm said.
That figure: The dropped call rate was 1.8 percent for Verizon iPhone 4 users, compared to 4.8 percent for AT&T iPhone 4 users.
ChangeWave has tracked dropped call rates among the Big Four carriers for awhile now, and says that Verizon "continues to maintain the best overall rating in the industry, with their customers reporting on average only 1.4 percent of calls dropped over the past 90 days. T-Mobile (2.3 percent) comes in second, followed by Sprint/Nextel (2.7 percent).
"AT&T ranks last among the four major providers in the current survey — with its customers reporting an average of 4.6 percent of calls dropped over the past 90 days."
However, it also says AT&T has improved, something the company has been working to do by beefing up its network:
AT&T has trailed Verizon in terms of overall dropped call rates since ChangeWave first began surveying on the subject back in September 2008. However, in our previous survey in December 2010 we noted that AT&T had registered a significant improvement on this measure. And in the current survey of 1,264 AT&T subscribers, their overall dropped call rate has improved once again, if only slightly (from 4.7 percent to 4.6 percent).
And Verizon's future "lock" on the iPhone is not a given: The carrier is "still in the early stages of its iPhone 4 offering to consumers. It remains to be seen how well the Verizon network performs as the number of Verizon iPhone 4 owners ramps up and inevitably puts more pressure on their system."
More about the iPhone 4: