AT&T has said it doesnt expect to be impacted significantly by losing its Apple iPhone exclusivity widely expected to be early in 2011 but that isnt stopping the carrier from making not-so-subtle jabs at the likely recipient of a new version of the device, Verizon Wireless.
An AT&T spokesman told The New York Times, We expect when Verizons network finally improves on speeds and critical capabilities customers want like talk and surf their network will be tested.” Dryly, the unnamed spokesperson added, Many people wonder if customers will be disappointed. Time will tell.”
Verizons network, of course, is the great unknown when it comes to iPhone reliability. A recent report showed that the average Android user on Verizons network is using more megabytes of data each month than the average AT&T iPhone user. To some analysts, that indicates that Verizons network is robust and ready for an iPhone, while others say its a bad sign because an iPhone will add a tremendous amount of traffic to an already heavily used network.
Verizon spokesman Jeffrey Nelson told the Times that his companys network is tried and true,” and that anything we do, or dont do, in the future, will ensure a good customer experience.”
Since AT&T has generally received more criticism for its network than Verizon has, most analysts seem to be siding with Big Red. An analyst with Technology Business Research recently said that Verizon has learned from AT&Ts experience and has added millions of Android customers in 2010 with barely a hiccup."
As for its customer base, AT&T might be OK. A Forrest Research analyst believes while some AT&T customers might jump ship, Sprint and T-Mobile stand to lose a larger percentage of customers since those networks dont already carry the iPhone.