Nearly a third of iPhone users switched carriers in order to buy the Apple touch-screen phone, researchers said Monday. The news comes as the iPhone leads smartphone sales between July and August.
Some thirty percent of U.S. smartphone buyers switched carriers to AT&T in order to purchase an iPhone in that period, market research firm NPD Group announced.
That compares to the 24 percent industry average for smartphone buyers.
Almost half (47 percent) of those new AT&T customers came at the expense of Verizon Wireless. Twenty-four percent of iPhone users were T-Mobile subscribers, while 19 percent switched from Sprint, according to the report.
T-Mobile had already lost subscribers to the iPhone, NPD analyst Ross Rubin told Cult of Mac.
“Sprint may have been helped by the Samsung Instinct, which has been marketed heavily compared to other touchscreen devices,” he wrote in an e-mail. Rubin also said Sprint has boosted its customer service capabilities after losing subscribers in 2007.
Apple was the best-selling smartphone between July and August, its marketshare jumping to 17 percent from 11 percent. RIM’s Blackberry Curve and Blackberry Pearl followed at the second and third spot with Palm’s Centro rounding out the top-four.
Whether Apple can retain the top position depends on how well the T-Mobile G1 handset is received and what effect iPhone connectivity problems had, the NPD analyst said.
The launch of Apple’s lower-priced iPhone 3G help cut prices for smartphones across the board by 26 percent. Smartphones were priced at $174 compared to $236 a year ago, according to NPD.