When the Verizon iPhone was announced, the world assumed that AT&T iPhone subscribers would be departing and defecting en masse. It turns out that’s not the case, and the numbers of defectors doesn’t surprise AT&T, says a high-level rep. Quite frankly, I’m not surprised, either. The subject of switching to Verizon for the iPhone is a dead and tired subject, but we’ll briefly gloss over it.
Far too many users who want to switch – no, not everyone on AT&T wants to leave and give up simultaneous voice and data or faster download speeds – are still on contract. Breaking those contracts can be pricey, and for many it’s worth waiting to see what Apple has up its sleeves this summer when a new iPhone model is expected to be announced.
Ralph de la Vega, AT&T’s head of consumer and mobility businesses, said in a Morgan Stanley tech conference in San Francisco, “”We haven’t seen any surprises, and everything is pretty much within our expectations.”
Of course, he wouldn’t disclose any numbers, but I suspect they’re much smaller than what we’d been anticipating. I imagined that at least 25-30% of users would leave, as most analysts predicted last fall that nearly a third of AT&T users would be prepared to leave for a CDMA iPhone. Perhaps little thought was given to cost, timing and everything in between. Luckily for AT&T, those factors worked in its favor. Perhaps it wasn’t so funny after all when the carrier assured its investors that losing iPhone exclusivity wouldn’t be a big deal.