July 8, 2011 at 1:27 PM ET
Verizon Wireless has 32 percent of the iPhone 4 market in the U.S., achieved in less than six months since it started selling the phone, according to a new report.
Mobile app analytics firm Localytics notes that despite AT&T's iPhone 4 lead time — last June — "Verizon has managed to capture nearly a third of the US iPhone 4 market ... Summer has seen significant growth in Verizon’s market share. After spending most of the spring at roughly the same share, Verizon has seen consecutive monthly jumps, grabbing 7 percent of the market for itself in May and June."
Why? Localytics says it may be because of the end of Verizon's unlimited data plan, effective July 7. As reported, the new plan means higher prices for heavy data users, with Verizon Wireless charging $5 more a month than AT&T, which stopped offering unlimited data plans last year.
Verizon customers who limit their data use to 2 gigabytes a month will pay $30 a month; previously that was the cost for an unlimited data plan. AT&T charges $25 for 2 GB of data, but does offer a $15-a-month plan for those who use up to 200 megabytes of data.
(If you're not sure where you fall among data users, check out this recent Validas study that found 60 percent of wireless data customers used less than both AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s minimum 200-megabyte data bracket allows.)
"AT&T officially discontinued its unlimited data plan in mid-2010, although existing customers were allowed to keep their plan as long as they remained AT&T customers," said Localytics. "We’ll continue tracking the shift in iPhone 4 market share to see if Verizon loses momentum post-unlimited-data."
But it's not just the data plan that may be drawing customers to Verizon's iPhone 4.
There was pent-up demand for it; AT&T had an exclusive hold on the iPhone itself in the U.S. since 2007, and Verizon's network is considered by many to be better than AT&T's, especially when it comes to dropped calls. But the AT&T iPhone 4 can handle voice and data at the same time, meaning you can check your e-mail, for example, while on a phone call, something Verizon's iPhone 4 does not do.
No matter which carrier's "side" you're on, Localytics says that in a relatively short time, Verizon "has managed to pull together a very respectable segment of the iPhone-using market. With rumors swirling about the iPhone 5 perhaps launching in September on multiple carriers, Verizon’s recent market share gains may be a precursor of what is to come this fall."
— via Fierce Wireless