Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4 customers on AT&T Mobility's (NYSE:T) network are about as satisfied with their overall experience as their smartphone counterparts at Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), according to a new survey from ChangeWave Research. However, Verizon iPhone 4 customers report a lower dropped call rate than those using AT&T, the survey found.
The survey of 4,068 customers was completed March 28, and found that 82 percent of Verizon iPhone 4 subscribers said they were "very satisfied" with their overall iPhone experience--a number similar to the 80 percent of AT&T iPhone 4 subscribers who said they were very satisfied. However, when it came to call quality, the two carriers split apart: Verizon iPhone 4 customers reported on average that 1.8 percent of their calls dropped within the past 90 days, while AT&T iPhone 4 customers reported that 4.8 percent of their calls dropped during the past 90 days.
Representatives from AT&T and Verizon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
AT&T has been routinely criticized for dropping iPhone calls, especially in densely populated cities such as New York and San Francisco. The carrier has made numerous network improvements to address the issues, particularly in those two cities. In the past, AT&T also has cited findings by an independent testing firm showing that its rate of dropped calls is comparable to the rates of its competitors.
The ChangeWave survey should be taken with some important caveats, including the fact that the Verizon iPhone has only been on the market since Feb. 10.
Indeed, ChangeWave itself hedged on its own analysis. "We note, however, that Verizon is still in the early stages of its iPhone 4 offering to consumers," the research firm noted. "It remains to be seen how well the Verizon network performs as the number of Verizon iPhone 4 owners ramps up and inevitably puts more pressure on their system."
Additionally, ChangeWave found that Verizon might be facing an onslaught of more iPhone traffic, as 46 percent of those who plan to buy an iPhone 4 in the future want to make Verizon their carrier, while 27 percent said they will choose AT&T.
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