Report: AT&T continues to ride the iPhone wave

Apple's iPhone still drawing customers to the carrier, according to a research report. Not so surprisingly, Verizon is shown to be AT&T's main competition in the wireless market.

Jim Dalrymple Special to CNET News
Jim Dalrymple has followed Apple and the Mac industry for the last 15 years, first as part of MacCentral and then in various positions at Macworld. Jim also writes about the professional audio market, examining the best ways to record music using a Macintosh. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. He currently runs The Loop.
Jim Dalrymple
2 min read

Apple's iPhone continues to drive customers to AT&T, two years after its release, according to a report from research firm ChangeWave.

Thirteen percent of the over 4,000 consumers surveyed by ChangeWave in March said they are "very or somewhat likely" to switch wireless carriers in the next six months. Thirty-three percent of those customers said they would go to AT&T, a move ChangeWave said it believes is directly related to consumers' desire for the iPhone.

It will probably come as no surprise that AT&T's main competition in the wireless market is from Verizon. In fact, ChangeWave's survey rates Verizon's customer satisfaction higher than AT&T and the number of dropped calls on Verizon lower than AT&T.

However, despite rumored talks between the companies, a Verizon iPhone is not likely under the company's current network configuration. Verizon uses a CDMA network, which is not compatible with the more popular GSM network that the iPhone uses.

Having said that, Verizon's work on its 4G network, which is based on the GSM standard, has kept speculation alive that Apple will add the company to its list of U.S. carriers.

The move to a GSM-based network would open the door for Verizon to welcome an iPhone into its arsenal of wireless devices and perhaps stem the tide of customers moving to AT&T.

AT&T is said to be negotiating with Apple to extend its exclusivity deal until 2011, but at the same time Apple is reportedly in talks with Verizon to bring an iPhone to that company.