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AT&T CEO says most iPhone users won't leave for other carriers

post #1 of 67
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AT&T's chief executive said Tuesday that he's not concerned about Apple's iPhone becoming available on other carriers in the U.S., because most customers are locked into long-term contracts.

Speaking at an investor conference hosted by Goldman Sachs on Tuesday, Randall Stephenson admitted that the iPhone 4 is responsible for a great deal of the company's smartphone sales. But he also attempted to assure investors that his company will do well even after its exclusive agreement with Apple ends.

According to MarketWatch, the CEO told investors that most iPhone users -- about two-thirds -- were already customers of AT&T. In addition, strong sales of devices like the iPhone 4 lock customers into two-year contracts, meaning they won't jump ship to an alternative carrier like Verizon.

"If you look at the iPhone base, about 80 percent is either on a family-talk plan or in a business relationship with us," Stephenson reportedly said. "Those customers tend to be very sticky. They don't churn very quickly."

Stephenson's comments come soon after Credit Suisse raised its price target for AT&T, citing a study showing that only 23 percent of AT&T iPhone customers would switch to Verizon if "given the chance." Another 3 percent would depart for Sprint, while 2 percent would stay with T-Mobile, but 63 percent said they would stay with AT&T.

Neither AT&T nor Apple have publicly disclosed when their exclusive arrangement for the iPhone is set to expire, though numerous reports have indicated a potential January 2011 launch of an iPhone compatible with the CDMA wireless standard, which is what Verizon operates in the U.S. In terms of subscribers, Verizon is the largest wireless provider in the U.S., ahead of No. 2 AT&T.

There have also been rumors of the iPhone becoming available on other, smaller carriers in the U.S., like T-Mobile, as soon as this fall. As exclusivity agreements for the iPhone have ended in other countries around the world, it has resulted in even greater sales for Apple.

Earlier this year, AT&T, in federal filing, warned investors that exclusivity for "a number of attractive handsets" will end, but did not give specifics on phones or dates.

In addition, in May, Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T's mobility and consumer markets division, downplayed the effect the loss of exclusivity would have on his company's business. Like Stephenson on Tuesday, he said earlier this year that family talk and business discount plans are "sticky" and keep customers with the carrier, regardless of options from other providers.
post #2 of 67
Yes, finally, unequivocal proof that the iPhone will come to Boost Mobile!
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post #3 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

AT&T's chief executive said Tuesday that he's not concerned about Apple's iPhone becoming available on other carriers in the U.S., because most customers are locked into long-term contracts.
...
Stephenson's comments come soon after Credit Suisse raised its price target for AT&T, citing a study showing that only 23 percent of AT&T iPhone customers would switch to Verizon if "given the chance." Another 3 percent would depart for Sprint, while 2 percent would stay with T-Mobile, but 63 percent said they would stay with AT&T.

My what a rosey picture they paint. We shall see AT&T.
post #4 of 67
once again, a case where an executive speaks before he should. i think folks are so fed up with the lack of service and attention, they'd be willing to pay the cancellation fee and go elsewhere.

personally, i won't ever use at&t again. got rid of them 10 years ago and haven't looked back since. i'm glad the iphone is coming to t-mobile. i may actually purchase one.
post #5 of 67
The CEO should keep telling himself right up until the day he resigns. I have more or less budgeted an early termination fee into purchasing another iPhone. Its too bad ATT gets this and not Apple; at least Apple would make something shiny with the money.
post #6 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

Yes, finally, unequivocal proof that the iPhone will come to Boost Mobile!

After you pay $700 for an iPhone to use on BoostMobile, you're better off just signing a contract and getting real cellular service. You don't get access to any kind of roaming when you're on a pre-paid service. Also, you think they wouldn't throttle pre-paid users?

Pre-paid service will always use throw-away handsets. The carriers aren't going to invest in pre-paid customers. They are usually pre-paid for a reason.
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post #7 of 67
the other carriers are just as bad as AT&T wait till every one jumps on verizons network and watch them start bitching
post #8 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by elliots11 View Post

My what a rosey picture they paint. We shall see AT&T.

I'm with you, just who do they think they are. I might be the first to jump that ship.
post #9 of 67
My whole family will be jumping ship to Verizon the moment it's possible.

Also considering moving our business account as well.

All in all, a sizable loss for AT&T due to the poor experiences of just one customer.
post #10 of 67
I would leave for tmo. They got good coverage here and the price alone is more than enough reason to switch
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post #11 of 67
It's true for me. Verizon does have better coverage, but Verizon is a terrible company. ATT is just easier to deal with, is my experience.
post #12 of 67
Just took AT&T off my holding long list. Great short term position, but the pain will come in 2 years, and his attitude and dismay for customers will have an effect.

What ever happened to 'We love our customers and will make sure there is no other carrier that they would ever want to go with' attitude, instead of the 'We have them trapped' line.
post #13 of 67
I will not leave AT&t as I am pretty happy with their service in my area.

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post #14 of 67
Shaking my head......these idiots.

They should not be emphasizing customers locked into long term contracts, people should want to stay with AT&T because they are dedicated to providing the best service.

Me and my significant other are out of contract. If VZW does get the iPhone and its service is far superior to AT&T. It would be difficult for me to argue to stay with AT&T.
post #15 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

Just took AT&T off my holding long list. Great short term position, but the pain will come in 2 years, and his attitude and dismay for customers will have an effect.

What ever happened to 'We love our customers and will make sure there is no other carrier that they would ever want to go with' attitude, instead of the 'We have them trapped' line.

Ah, the sin of hubris. It always comes before the fall. Can you believe the arrogance of this guy? "Our customers don't love us, but they're trapped, so all is good."

I thought big time executives were supposed to think long term. This guy is thinking less than 2 years out. What an idiot.
post #16 of 67
I'll leave. For anyone.
post #17 of 67
I'm one of said AT&T users who wouldn't leave for another carrier. I get great service and customer support is pretty good.
post #18 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by UbiquitousGeek View Post

After you pay $700 for an iPhone to use on BoostMobile, you're better off just signing a contract and getting real cellular service. You don't get access to any kind of roaming when you're on a pre-paid service. Also, you think they wouldn't throttle pre-paid users?

Pre-paid service will always use throw-away handsets. The carriers aren't going to invest in pre-paid customers. They are usually pre-paid for a reason.

What good is an iPhone with a pre-paid service anyway? It's like a Ferrari with no gasoline tank.
post #19 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by iansilv View Post

I'll leave. For anyone.

See ya!
post #20 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

What good is an iPhone with a pre-paid service anyway? It's like a Ferrari with no gasoline tank.

Or...an iPod Touch.
post #21 of 67
No plans to leave AT&T here. I may consider Verizon if I can get simultaneous voice and data, which is mandatory for me, and they won't have that until LTE is up and running. On top of that, they would have to offer a noticeably better deal than AT&T. I am not interested in saving 5 or 10 bucks a month.
post #22 of 67
I would personally like to see Sprint get an iPhone. They offer great rate plans for data users and have pretty decent coverage. They're also the most lenient towards customers with less than perfect credit. The highest deposits with Sprint, right now, are $50. Their 3G network is great and their 4G coverage is expanding rapidly enough. I sell AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. Sprint is, by far, the easiest to sell. $129 for two lines, when Verizon's comparable plan is closer to $300? It's a no brainer, so long as coverage isn't an issue for the customer. Who cares if Verizon is the largest? It only depends on where YOU are going to use your device.

And personally, I wouldn't want an iPhone with their retarded logo stamped all over it.
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post #23 of 67
What the CEO of AT&T may not understand is that most AT%T customers don't give a crap about what it costs to abandon AT&T, it their is an option of getting OFF the worst network in the world - they're gone..

IF you have ever had any opportunity to interact with AT&T (formally SBC) on a customer service level you'd be running for the hills too !!
post #24 of 67
I am paying my $105 ETF with a big [B]FUCK YOU [/B]for shit service on the memo line of the check. Canceled last month, have a flip phone in the mean time, but I have not dropped a single call on Verizon.

AT&T can pound there ETF up there fucking ass. Echo, dropped calls, missed calls voicemails even with the stupid MicroCell that I had.
post #25 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by mac_dog View Post

..personally, i won't ever use at&t again. got rid of them 10 years ago and haven't looked back since. i'm glad the iphone is coming to t-mobile. i may actually purchase one.

So what you're really saying is that you've had no experience with AT&T for a decade, and don't have an iPhone. So your opinion is based on...what exactly?

In my 2+ years with an iPhone (3G, now 4) I've had decent AT&T coverage in my home area and very good coverage in my travels. Customer service has been excellent both via phone and at the local AT&T store.

Count me in that majority that has no intention of switching, if and when that becomes an option.
post #26 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

So what you're really saying is that you've had no experience with AT&T for a decade, and don't have an iPhone. So your opinion is based on...what exactly?

In my 2+ years with an iPhone (3G, now 4) I've had decent AT&T coverage in my home area and very good coverage in my travels. Customer service has been excellent both via phone and at the local AT&T store.

Count me in that majority that has no intention of switching, if and when that becomes an option.

Todays AT&T is just a rebranded Cingular so mac_dogs previous experience with AT&T is not only outdated, but not even the same company he wont go back to. His choice, I certainly didnt think I would go back to Cingular ever again, but they had the iPhone and I had a 30 day trial. I quickly realized that either Cingluar changed a lot or my issues had stemmed not from the network but from my frustration with the handset itself. I think the latter is most likely.

Even if AT&T waved my ETF fee to got to Verizon, they had simultaneous voice and data, and offered me a free coupon for a free waffle fry at Chick-fil-A I still wouldnt jump ship. I dont need coverage in Americas farm land, I get good service and itll probably be years before Verizon can compete with AT&Ts data speeds.
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post #27 of 67
Just watch me.
post #28 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by res08hao View Post

It's true for me. Verizon does have better coverage, but Verizon is a terrible company. ATT is just easier to deal with, is my experience.

In my experience, I don't deal with AT&T, I deal with Apple.
post #29 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by erybovic View Post

I am paying my $105 ETF with a big [B]FUCK YOU [/B]for shit service on the memo line of the check. Canceled last month, have a flip phone in the mean time, but I have not dropped a single call on Verizon.

AT&T can pound there ETF up there fucking ass. Echo, dropped calls, missed calls voicemails even with the stupid MicroCell that I had.

Ditto.
post #30 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

AT&T's chief executive said Tuesday that he's not concerned about Apple's iPhone becoming available on other carriers in the U.S., because most customers are locked into long-term contracts.

Speaking at an investor conference hosted by Goldman Sachs on Tuesday, Randall Stephenson admitted that the iPhone 4 is responsible for a great deal of the company's smartphone sales. But he also attempted to assure investors that his company will do well even after its exclusive agreement with Apple ends.

According to MarketWatch, the CEO told investors that most iPhone users -- about two-thirds -- were already customers of AT&T. In addition, strong sales of devices like the iPhone 4 lock customers into two-year contracts, meaning they won't jump ship to an alternative carrier like Verizon.

"If you look at the iPhone base, about 80 percent is either on a family-talk plan or in a business relationship with us," Stephenson reportedly said. "Those customers tend to be very sticky. They don't churn very quickly."

Stephenson's comments come soon after Credit Suisse raised its price target for AT&T, citing a study showing that only 23 percent of AT&T iPhone customers would switch to Verizon if "given the chance." Another 3 percent would depart for Sprint, while 2 percent would stay with T-Mobile, but 63 percent said they would stay with AT&T.

Neither AT&T nor Apple have publicly disclosed when their exclusive arrangement for the iPhone is set to expire, though numerous reports have indicated a potential January 2011 launch of an iPhone compatible with the CDMA wireless standard, which is what Verizon operates in the U.S. In terms of subscribers, Verizon is the largest wireless provider in the U.S., ahead of No. 2 AT&T.

There have also been rumors of the iPhone becoming available on other, smaller carriers in the U.S., like T-Mobile, as soon as this fall. As exclusivity agreements for the iPhone have ended in other countries around the world, it has resulted in even greater sales for Apple.

Earlier this year, AT&T, in federal filing, warned investors that exclusivity for "a number of attractive handsets" will end, but did not give specifics on phones or dates.

In addition, in May, Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T's mobility and consumer markets division, downplayed the effect the loss of exclusivity would have on his company's business. Like Stephenson on Tuesday, he said earlier this year that family talk and business discount plans are "sticky" and keep customers with the carrier, regardless of options from other providers.


That's right AT&T... KEEP thinking that I won't take my hard earned money and hefty iPhone 4 cellphone bill to Verizon. Given the chance, I will leave work early and be in line at Verizon within 20 minutes cash in-hand...... Long term contract??? Pffftttt.... I'll GLADLY pay an early termination fee to ditch you and slip over to Verizon. {BTW... early termination fees have risen because the Feds require that they now prorate the early term. fee... }

I don't even want my AT&T phone number... I've had it since the days of Cingular Wireless and now, you can keep it... Verizon will get my $130.00/month...

Further, if Verizon doesn't get the iPhone soon, I may look at the Droid X (or other Google Android phone)... I love my iPhone but not enough to blindly stick with AT&T much longer!!! I just renewed with the iPhone 4... But January... February... sometime this late winter/early spring... good riddance...
post #31 of 67
I'm a New Yorker... and I'm _so_ gone from AT&T... as soon as Verizon iPhone lands.
post #32 of 67
I will gladly pay the cancellation fee to get away from AT&T. Their customer service is the absolute worst customer service I have EVER dealt with! I won't even get into their service! For the most part customer service is okay on the local level but dial their 800# or 611 and be prepared to be treated like an imbecile by an imbecile. Mr. CEO the great sucking sound you will hear is all your iPhone customers leaving AT&T for any other carrier... contract or not. SEE YA!
post #33 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by mac_dog View Post

once again, a case where an executive speaks before he should. i think folks are so fed up with the lack of service and attention, they'd be willing to pay the cancellation fee and go elsewhere.

Really? I highly doubt it. The people really fed up with AT&T have likely left already. And any left waiting for the big V will probably just tough it out.

Assuming Verizon ever does get the iPhone. With how they are molesting the hell out of the android phones I see little desire on their part to play ball with Apple, and I sure as heck don't expect Apple to let the likes of Verizon dictate to them any time soon.

Finally as Verizon moves to 4G they are going to experience their own coverage issues as GSM doesn't cover as far, so in sites like SF where local regs and NIMBY policies make it almost impossible to erect new towers... AT&T will just be pointing and laughing.

Quote:
personally, i won't ever use at&t again. got rid of them 10 years ago and haven't looked back since. i'm glad the iphone is coming to t-mobile. i may actually purchase one.

You do realize the AT&T you dealt with is not the same AT&T of today? And lest you think I am overly apologetic, I'll just say that all the American carriers suck. Verizon is the worst, simply for their continued goal of being the sole gatekeeper for services on their network. I laugh at the naivete of those that use "Verizon" and open in the same sentence.
post #34 of 67
ATT CEO is in for a BIG SURPRISE Having to pay a $325 ETF is not the end of the world for most people.
post #35 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

What good is an iPhone with a pre-paid service anyway? It's like a Ferrari with no gasoline tank.

Not really, a car is an example of pre-pay service, you pre buy your petrol, and you use it until you run out, then you buy more.
post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Architapier View Post

I'm with you, just who do they think they are. I might be the first to jump that ship.

Well Really, What else is a CEO of At&t gonna say? "We're not afraid"!

The VZW iphone has become a beast of it's own.....If you go to google news and type in "Verizon",
the next word you will get it "iphone". That's how much people want it.
post #37 of 67
"Finally as Verizon moves to 4G they are going to experience their own coverage issues as GSM doesn't cover as far, so in sites like SF where local regs and NIMBY policies make it almost impossible to erect new towers... AT&T will just be pointing and laughing."

You may be in for a surprise....They where put up a year & a half ago in S.F...as many other cities. It's just a small box that's attached to the existing tower. Lte will launch at the end of Nov. For Coverage you may also want to at the 700 megahertz (analog tv) that this will be operating on.....
post #38 of 67
My ATT data speeds are stellar here in Joshua Tree, always over 1000 Kbps.
The problem is the severe 2 GB restriction. If you do any streaming it ain't snuff !
post #39 of 67
If you're one of the first to jump ship you will probably be one of the 1st to to ride the tidal wave of adjustments that Verizon will need to make to make its network run smoothly for the iPhone.
I definitely won't leave AT&T until voice and data go over Verizon without one effecting the other.
As I understand it, with AT&T, Voice goes over GSM but data goes separetly, so one cannot effect the other. Verizon will probably never have that advantage.
I suspect that this is why Apple has put up with AT&T for so long. Apple likes things to work period; and so do I.
I love how I can talk, surf and multitask all at the same time. I can look at my customers invoice on my iPhone 4 and discuss it with them at the same time! There's just no limitations and it all works well for me in Columbus, Ohio.
BTW, I'm on a Family Plan with AT&T and got grandfathered in on unlimited Data plans for me and my wife's iPhone 4's and we have about 6000 roll over minutes.
Those who did not get grandfathered in or who gave up their unlimited plans so that they could teather will probably jump ship when and if Verizon offers unlimited Data plans for the iPhone.

Heres things I hate about Service via AT&T:
1. You Tube and many other video is total crap over 3G (very poor resolution), but great over Wi-FI; undoubtedly a limitation imposed by AT&T because of their weak, over-stressed network.
2. Service is weak to non-exhistant in some stores and in a few areas of town, mostly old neighborhoods where they probably could not set up a tower.
3. AT&T pie crust promises (easily made and easily broken). AT&T promises but may never deliver. I was assured many times by AT&T that U-Verse would be available to me soon. They also assured me that their Data Networks in my area would soon be increased to 7Mb/s. Well the years have gone by and the promises were never fulfilled. It's just like the hours I have wasted in the past trying to get AT&T to honor their promotional offers after obtaining their service. More time is wasted getting through their red tape then the promotional offer was worth.
It's interesting to note that because AT&T failed to boost its network to higher speeds throughout the country in a timely manner as it promised, it had to eliminate the unlimited data plan for its new iPhone users and try to trick its current iPhone users into dropping their unlimited data plans so that they may tether. What a joke! Tethering requires a larger data plan, not a smaller one!
post #40 of 67
My only complaint with ATT in the short time I have been with them is their data plans suck. Having said that, I get a bigger discount with ATT than Verizon because of my place of employment, ATT offers evening minutes starting at 7 for a fee and Verizon has no such option, and I am not playing over $300 just to jump to Verizon. I have to admit ATT service has improved since I last had used them in 2003 when they were still ATT Wireless.
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