Verizon outshined its mobile rivals last quarter with the largest share of phone activations, according to a survey report released Thursday by research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.
Among US carriers, Verizon accounted for 35 percent of all activations, followed by AT&T with 28 percent, T-Mobile with 15 percent, and Sprint with 9 percent. Collectively, all other regional and prepaid carriers made up the remaining 13 percent.
Though Verizon and AT&T were on top, neither carrier showed any improvement during the quarter -- Verizon was flat while AT&T dipped. Instead, T-Mobile won the most-improved award with its share rising from 13 percent at the start of the quarter to 15 percent by the end. Sprint's share inched up from 8 percent to 9 percent.
Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint retained the most subscribers last quarter by hanging onto 80 percent of eligible customers, CIRP said. T-Mobile kept only around 70 percent of its existing customers but made up for the lower percentage in other ways.
"We measure retention relative to the customers that a carrier had a chance to keep or lose," CIRP partner and co-founder Josh Lowitz said in a statement. "We define these customers as those that activated a new or used phone in the quarter, so they had the choice to switch or stay with their existing carrier. T-Mobile made up for this lower retention by gaining many more customers from other carriers."
Conducted from April 1 to 6, CIRP's survey reached 500 people in the US who bought a phone during the first quarter.