- Photo: Reuters/Brendan McDermid
Since February, fans of Apple's iPhone are no longer limited to using AT&T. Now that Verizon is also carrying the popular smartphone, it has been adding new customers.
Verizon added 1.26 million new wireless subscribers from April to June of this year. It also activated 2.3 million new iPhone 4's. This strong showing comes at a time when there are fewer new customers. Most people today who want a cellphone already have one. So, to get new customers, cellular service companies must snag customers from other cellular service companies.
Verizon still has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to become the primary cellular service provider for iPhone users. AT&T activated 3.6 million iPhones in the same period. That success may be due to the options available with AT&T. With Verizon, a customer who wants to buy an iPhone can only buy the iPhone 4 for about $200. AT&T customers, on the other hand, can buy the iPhone 4 or the cheaper iPhone 3GS for $49.
Verizon's new 4G network, considered the fastest in the United States, is also credited with the company's strong showing.
The company is still behind where it had hoped to be, however, with its customers’ pace of smartphone adoption, according to Verizon CEO and President Lowell McAdam. He suggested that some customers may be waiting for the introduction of the iPhone 5, which has been delayed by Apple.
Besides those switching from AT&T, Verizon had some of its own customers switch to the iPhone. Jim Hilliard, of Athens, Ga., has been a Verizon customer for eight years. In an interview with The Christian Post, Hilliard said that he “never had any trouble with Verizon,” but didn't care much for his Droid cellphone. He got the iPhone the first day it was available from Verizon and he has “been very happy” with it.
A survey of iPhone customers conducted by Mobclix in March showed that Verizon iPhone usage was mostly in large cities, especially San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, New York, and Boston. The survey also found that two-thirds of AT&T iPhone users who switched to Verizon chose to pay the termination fee of $325 rather than wait for their contract to expire. The top three reasons reported for making the switch were reception issues, having a personal hot spot, and reputation.