As AT&T gains on Verizon, CEO says exclusive iPhone fleeting

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
While AT&T added more customers last quarter than competitor Verizon -- thanks in large part to the iPhone -- AT&T's CEO admitted this week that his company won't have exclusivity on Apple's phone forever.



The concession by Randall Stephenson at a Fortune conference, as reported by PC World, comes as the chief executive is reportedly working behind the scenes to extend AT&T's exclusive contract with Apple.



Stephenson's comments were cryptic, at best. The CEO simply said that iPhone exclusivity with AT&T will not last forever. However, he did not elaborate.



On Friday, Verizon Wireless announced that it added 1.1 million subscribers during the last financial quarter. But during the same frame, AT&T increased its total number of customers by 1.4 million.



Many of AT&T's new customers are coming due to the exclusive iPhone contract. This week AT&T announced that more than 2.4 million iPhones were activated during the last quarter, with more than a third of those new customers.



That means of AT&T's 1.4 million new customers in the June quarter, at least 800,000 were iPhone subscribers.



AT&T's total number of customers sits at 79.6 million, which is 6.7 million higher than last year. Though it is still behind Verizon's 87.7 million total subscribers, the No. 2 carrier is gaining ground.



But without iPhone exclusivity, some believe AT&T would suffer due to alleged network superiority from Verizon Wireless. Pali Research has projected that AT&T will net less than 1 million new subscribers in 2010, compared with the 4 million it gained in 2008. The report operates under the assumption that the iPhone will leap to Verizon's network once the contract has expired.



"As the iPhone exclusivity period rolls off between AT&T Wireless and Apple, a material number of AT&T customers will flock to Verizon?s superior network," the firm stated. "We estimate that nearly a third of AT&T?s post-paid customers are being retained by AT&T primarily because of the iPhone exclusivity."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,397member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Stephenson's comments were cryptic, at best. The CEO simply said that iPhone exclusivity with AT&T will not last forever. However, he did not elaborate.



    ...without iPhone exclusivity, some believe AT&T would suffer due to alleged network superiority from Verizon Wireless.



    "As the iPhone exclusivity period rolls off between AT&T Wireless and Apple, a material number of AT&T customers will flock to Verizon’s superior network," the firm stated. "We estimate that nearly a third of AT&T’s post-paid customers are being retained by AT&T primarily because of the iPhone exclusivity."



    Technically I'm wondering if it's mostly all about when Verizon rolls out 4G and how extensively - making the CDMA/GSM connection situation moot?



    And first?!? (That would be a first)
  • Reply 2 of 63
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    AT&T's attempts to keep Apple as a customer reminds me of a Jigsaw-designed torture device that they need to escape from.
  • Reply 3 of 63
    While AT&T has many issues, it is very nice to be able to travel and use the GSM networks all over the world seamlessly (if you can afford it )

    When I was with Sprint years ago on CDMA, there seemed to be more countries with problems due to lack of CDMA. Verizon, from what I understand would have the same issue = CDMA.

    So while AT&T is not very good, there are reasons why it is worth putting up with, at least for some of us...
  • Reply 4 of 63
    I'm not as well-versed as others are about the nature of Verizon's network, and whether the iPhone would work (and work well) on its network currently. I'd appreciate anyone who could enlighten me on this point.



    Also, when is the AT&T contract set to expire? 2010?



    Finally, I agree with the premise of this article. I think AT&T service sucks, and it's only the iPhone thats keeping me with them. If the iPhone went to Verizon, I'd jump there instantly.



    GTSC
  • Reply 5 of 63
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigpics View Post


    Technically I'm wonder if it's mostly all about when Verizon rolls out 4G and how extensively - making the CDMA/GSM connection situation moot?



    And first?? (That would be a first)







    And you win the prize!
  • Reply 6 of 63
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    Here's the perfect company: The customer support of T-Mobile, the speed and pricing of Sprint, the coverage of Verizon, and the cool phones & roll over pricing from AT&T (as well as their international coverage.)



    Who wants to invest?
  • Reply 7 of 63
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    Here's the perfect company: The customer support of T-Mobile, the speed and pricing of Sprint, the coverage of Verizon, and the cool phones & roll over pricing from AT&T (as well as their international coverage.)



    Who wants to invest?



    Who would want to invest in such a money losing company?
  • Reply 8 of 63
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,348member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Who would want to invest in such a money losing company?



  • Reply 9 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by applestockholder View Post


    So while AT&T is not very good, there are reasons why it is worth putting up with, at least for some of us...



    Gosh, you mean consumers would benefit if they had a choice instead of having to use one carrier or another? What a concept, that Apple does not determine my choice of phone carrier? The idea of lock-in is very annoying and almost illegal.
  • Reply 10 of 63
    Can't wait to have a choice. The exclusivity has lasted too long already.
  • Reply 11 of 63
    I expect to see it on T-Mobile. I think its likely enough, especialy if they get the 3G in England. It only makes sense to me to use as few carriers worldwide, you can get better deals. Or do I not understand the cell market Also, they don't have any huge big-name phones that won't be on AT&T soon enough. Sprint has the Pre, and Verizon will have it soon(not to mention the CDMA/GSM issue). Apple probably wants to avoid the Pre on the same network so close to debut. So that leaves T-Mobile, which is known for good customer support, like Apple. Only makes sense to me, but I may have missed a key point of all this.



    This is not to say, however, I want the phone on T-Mobile specifically. I would be happy with anyone, since I have AT&T but cant afford $30 a month data, and competition would drive prices down, which benefits me. Yay!



    I like AT&T, and I would refuse to switch to Verizon or Sprint, due to poor international support. T-Mobile is an option though... Sorry, now I'm jsut thinking on a keyboard. I appologize



    SG
  • Reply 12 of 63
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KT Walrus View Post


    Can't wait to have a choice. The exclusivity has lasted too long already.



    Actually you do have a choice and that's to buy the iPhone or not buy it.
  • Reply 13 of 63
    Water is Wet.
  • Reply 14 of 63
    stonefreestonefree Posts: 242member
    Even when Verizon eventually get the iPhone, I'll probably still stick with AT&T because of rollover minutes. I've always been on the lowest plan and I usually only use between 200-300 minutes a month. But every now and then I'll go a couple hundred higher and Verizon charges a fortune for that. Monitoring your minutes is a pain, and even though Verizon allows you to upgrade your plan during a billing cycle but the way the pro-rate you have to do so well before you approach your limit.



    But Verizon does have great customer service. I called to inform them I was cancelling. They told me it was unnecessary because the number was already switched. Then the girl calls me back telling me she noticed I'd gone way over my minutes and that it would cost me $200. I'd don't remember what she did, but it was something like shifting the minutes to one final month of service or something like that, so I only paid $50! And I was now a former customer!



    So if customer service is a high priority, go Verizon!
  • Reply 15 of 63
    eh270eh270 Posts: 60member
    Is anyone else wondering whether or not Verizon's network could handle the added stress of such a mass exodus?



    Seems to me exclusivity itself is the problem here, not the network. If iPhone users could pick a carrier much the same way other mobile phone users can, network congestion might spread around to the point where all carriers can support it without having to disable MMS or tethering on account of network strain. But if everyone rushes over to Verizon, they might find themselves in an equally sticky situation.



    The exclusivity was AT&T's way of letting Apple have the activation control it wanted before the iPhone was a smash hit -- shouldn't the other carriers be more willing to work with Apple without such an agreement? Everyone wants a slice of the iPhone pie!
  • Reply 16 of 63
    samabsamab Posts: 1,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaperMacWriter View Post


    I like AT&T, and I would refuse to switch to Verizon or Sprint, due to poor international support.



    It would only matter if you can afford the roaming rates.



    You are going to be in your home town 50 weeks out of 52 weeks in the whole year. Want to go overseas for a 2 week vacation --- go and borrow a friend's used GSM phone that are lying in their drawer somewhere.
  • Reply 17 of 63
    eh270eh270 Posts: 60member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samab View Post


    It would only matter if you can afford the roaming rates.



    You are going to be in your home town 50 weeks out of 52 weeks in the whole year. Want to go overseas for a 2 week vacation --- go and borrow a friend's used GSM phone that are lying in their drawer somewhere.



    Or use Skype on your Hotel's wifi connection
  • Reply 18 of 63
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wealthychef View Post


    Gosh, you mean consumers would benefit if they had a choice instead of having to use one carrier or another? What a concept, that Apple does not determine my choice of phone carrier? The idea of lock-in is very annoying and almost illegal.



    Isnt almost illegal kinda like a little bit pregnant?
  • Reply 19 of 63
    hudson1hudson1 Posts: 800member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigpics View Post


    Technically I'm wonder if it's mostly all about when Verizon rolls out 4G and how extensively - making the CDMA/GSM connection situation moot?



    And first?? (That would be a first)



    OK, I'm not a mobile phone network expert. However, I would think that any mobile phone marketed by VerizonWireless would have to have CDMA capability for quite a while unless they have a plan to make 4G ubiquitous overnight. Even then, they have agreements for different systems to carry their calls in some locations and they would have to have 4G installed at the same time, too. So if your VerizonWireless iPhone doesn't have CDMA, it aint going to work everywhere you expect it to.
  • Reply 20 of 63
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,464member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by applestockholder View Post


    While AT&T has many issues, it is very nice to be able to travel and use the GSM networks all over the world seamlessly (if you can afford it )

    When I was with Sprint years ago on CDMA, there seemed to be more countries with problems due to lack of CDMA. Verizon, from what I understand would have the same issue = CDMA.

    So while AT&T is not very good, there are reasons why it is worth putting up with, at least for some of us...



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaperMacWriter View Post


    I like AT&T, and I would refuse to switch to Verizon or Sprint, due to poor international support. T-Mobile is an option though... Sorry, now I'm jsut thinking on a keyboard. I appologize



    SG



    Several different phones on Verizon have the following under their network support:



    Network Support: Dual?band 800/1900 MHz CDMA/EV?DO Rev. A networks; Quad?Band: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks Single?Band: 2100 MHz UMTS/HSPA networks



    However even if that weren't enough, you can just buy a really cheap GSM phone for $20 and use it everywhere.



    Get one, get two, get whatever you want and make calls all year round.
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