AT&T Is Still the Most Dominant iPhone Carrier in U.S.

AT&T Is Still the Most Dominant iPhone Carrier in U.S.

Despite losing its exclusivity to the iPhone back in February when Apple introduced the CDMA iPhone 4 for Verizon, AT&T is still the most dominant iPhone carrier in the United States, enjoying 60% of iPhone 4 subscribers.

According to figures from Localytics, it’s also the most popular carrier for Apple’s latest iPhone, with 56% of the market versus Verizon, which holds 32%; and Sprint, which holds 12%. Even with Sprint’s offering unlimited data plans, AT&T’s market share hasn’t quite nosedived as was previously anticipated.

In fact, it appears Sprint is taking customers away from Verizon more than it is from AT&T:

Looking at iPhone 4 distribution as a comparison, Sprint seems to have eroded more of Verizon’s market share than AT&T’s – of the previous-generation handset, 60% are on AT&T versus 40% on Verizon.

A likely driver for these differences is the fact that AT&T can mine its existing base of iPhone users. Because all Verizon iPhone users are in the first year of their wireless contract, the cost of upgrading will be high. However, many longer-term AT&T users, especially those holding iPhone 3GS and earlier devices, are off-contract or nearing the end of their contract. AT&T has been aggressively leveraging the iPhone 4S to sign these customers to new two-year contracts, and the data in this study suggests that tactic may be working.

AT&T’s share is still diminishing, however, just not as quickly as predicted. Its 3G data speeds, which are faster than those offered by Sprint and Verizon, is thought to be one of the reasons why many customers are staying put.

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  • Weston Powers

    I live in Pittsburgh and switched off of Verizon to Sprint with the iPhone 4S. It is great!

  • Punkxinxdrublic

    Got a buddy that works for Sprint so I get mad discounts!!! and now with a Sprint iPhone I’ve got nothing but the best!!!

  • RyanTV

    I was going to switch from AT&T and go to Verizon when I got the 4S, but I’m still grandfathered into an unlimited data plan with AT&T and it would have greatly increased my monthly bill moving. I currently pay $135/month for 2 iPhones on a family plan.

  • Mike Rathjen

    This just shows that a handful complainers can give the impression that hundreds of billions of people had problems with AT&T…

    …or they are still under contract and can’t switch yet.

  • imagremlin

    “most dominant”? Tsk, tsk.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the UK. He has an interest in all things tech, but most enjoys covering Apple, anything mobile, and gaming. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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