At least one analyst doesnt think so.
There is not going to be this bum rush to Verizon,” said IDC analyst Will Stofega.
Wireless subscribers are typically locked into two-year contracts, Stofega said, and AT&T Wireless customers under contract who defect to Verizon Wireless would have to pay early termination fees plus shell out money for a new iPhone.
But Hudson Square Research analyst Todd Rethemeier predicts AT&T will lose 3.5 million high-value contract customers this year, Apple Insider reported. Meanwhile, Barclays Capital estimates Verizon Wireless could sell 3 million more iPhones (9 million) this year than the six million AT&T Wireless is expected to sell, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone, Verizon Wireless is the biggest wireless subscriber in the United States with 93.2 million customers at the end of the third quarter.
AT&T Wireless trails Verizon Wireless by about 400,000 subscribers.
For more than three years, AT&T Wireless held exclusive U.S. rights to sell Apples iPhone. That is no longer the case.
Verizon Wireless said Tuesday the iPhone 4 will be available on its network beginning February 10, and certain customers will be given the opportunity to preorder the device online on February 3.
Apple and Verizon have a multiyear but nonexclusive contract.
AT&Ts iPhone users have faced problems with their connections, such as dropped calls and bad data connections, in urban areas, including New York and San Francisco. AT&T reported that only a small fraction of their subscribers was responsible for most of the congestion on its network, IDC’s Stofega said.
AT&T recently eliminated its unlimited data plans.
Stofega said some defections could help to relieve the load on AT&Ts network.
Last week, AT&T announced a new price of $49.00 for the third-generation iPhone, the 3G S.