AT&T enjoyed exclusivity with the iPhone for three generations worth, and now it looks like out of the four major carriers, only one carrier (T-Mobile) does not carry the iPhone. If I was AT&T, I would be worried about my customers running off to a competing carrier who may offer better rates and plans, but apparently that’s not the case with AT&T, who reports that customers remain loyal to the carrier despite available alternatives in the form of Verizon and Sprint.
According to MarketWatch, comments from AT&T’s execute Glen Lurie mentioned that the carrier’s churn rate was remained steady despite both Verizon and Sprint offering the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S this year.
“Churn has not moved at all,” said Glen Lurie, president of emerging devices for AT&T. Churn refers to the number of customers who cancel services.
Lurie said the carrier’s relationship with Apple Inc. AAPL +0.06% , maker of the iPhone, has been positive, and they’ve had record-breaking sales of the latest iPhone 4S which has led to some supply issues. U.S. consumers are looking at a week to two week wait times to get the latest iPhone 4S from AT&T, he said.
It seems that the reason behind AT&T’s customers loyalty is because of some of AT&T’s offerings, such as HSPA+ network speeds, which is a 180 when compared to Sprint customers complaining of slow data speeds. AT&T is also the only GSM-based iPhone carrier in the US, and is currently offering the iPhone 3GS free on contract, making it an attractive offer to customers who want the iPhone but are unable to afford it otherwise.