The AT&T network has always been one of the biggest gripes about the Apple iPhone, and a recent survey confirms that over a third of iPhone owners plan to wait until the iPhone is on another carrier before they buy another one.
According to a survey by market research firm Morpace, nearly half of all iPhone owners would consider switching to a Verizon iPhone. That's no surprise given the unrest with AT&T data service and the rumors swirling around a potential Verizon iPhone.
But even more damning is the 34 percent of iPhone owners who are waiting to upgrade their iPhone until it is available on a network other than AT&T.
If that wasn't bad enough news for AT&T, the survey of all AT&T subscribers (with or without an iPhone) revealed that nearly a quarter of them are "somewhat or very likely" to ditch AT&T if Verizon does release an iPhone.
Considering the number of AT&T subscribers and iPhone owners, that's a huge number of people just waiting to jump ship.
It should be noted that the survey sample was small for a national survey. Only 1,000 AT&T subscribers were polled, of which about 100 were iPhone owners. But Morpace says the findings are statistically valid, and the numbers certainly seem to match the AT&T subscriber sentiments being shouted on forums and comment threads across the Web.
The survey returned similar numbers from subscribers on other networks who said they would switch to Verizon if an iPhone became available (22 percent of Sprint subscribers and 20 percent of T-Mobile subscribers). Unsurprisingly, over half of current Verizon customers say they would buy an iPhone if Verizon carried it.
All of this shows how customers are increasingly loyal to brands, especially Apple, rather than the carrier. It's an obvious incentive for other networks to get the iPhone and explains why AT&T has clung so tenaciously to its exclusivity agreement with Apple, despite rumors that the tech giant has tried to get out of it.