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Survey: iPhone 4 Antenna Problems, Verizon Costly for Apple

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According to a survey released by professional Apple (s aapl) watcher Gene Munster at Piper Jaffray (via Fortune), the antenna issues (which Jobs and Co. would have you believe isn’t really an issue at all) cost the company a decent amount of business over the summer. But it wasn’t what hurt it the most in the U.S.

In fact, the single issue most complained about by respondents was the lack of an iPhone available on the Verizon (s vz) network. That was despite the fact that no survey question actually mentioned the AT&T (s att) competitor or even really dealt with it that much, save the one which asked for respondents’ current carrier.

The survey asked 258 cell phone owners in downtown Minneapolis about their choice of device and the reason for their choosing. Of respondents, nearly a third had either an iPhone, a BlackBerry (s rimm) or another kind of phone not listed. Nokia (s nok) and Android (s goog) made up the last two groups, representing only three and nine percent respectively.

Awareness of the antenna problem was definitely high, though that’s got to be expected when Apple itself held a press conference basically advertising the problem, even if the actual aim of the event was to downplay it. 69 percent of respondents knew about the issue, and 20 percent of those people said it influenced their decision to buy an iPhone 4. So yes, Apple lost some revenue to its missteps regarding Antennagate.

But for each of the respondents who acknowledged the antenna issue, three brought up the iPhone not being on Verizon as a barrier to making a purchase. That’s likely because nearly a third of respondents (31 percent) were already Verizon customers, just behind AT&T’s survey-leading 38 percent.

Apple must be aware of the effect its exclusivity deal is having on sales in the U.S., and I hardly think it’s the ideal situation for the company, considering how quickly it has switched to non-exclusive models in other regions, including America’s neighbor to the north, Canada. Doubtless we’ll see this relationship change when the AT&T exclusivity deal expires, which is rumored to be happening at the end of this year or the beginning of next.

Despite the possible dampening effects of both the antenna issues and lack of a Verizon option, the iPhone 4 is still experiencing record sales, and Apple’s supply chain continues to struggle to keep up with demand, so we’re guessing Cupertino isn’t sweating it right now.

Munster’s survey was very geographically specific, so I’m curious about what results taken from a more general sampling would look like. It’s hardly scientific, but how did the antenna issues affect your purchase decision regarding the iPhone 4?

Related GigaOM Pro Research: Why Carriers Still Hold the Key to Handset Sales

10 Responses to “Survey: iPhone 4 Antenna Problems, Verizon Costly for Apple”

  1. I suppose many people think that Verizon is a better carrier, and maybe it is, but I would never ever ever spend good money on a phone that was CDMA and could not be used overseas or changed to another carrier. Granted, in the US you are tied into a contract to buy an iPhone at a steep discount but that’s not the case in other countries. You switch out the SIM card, you’re on another carrier. Simple. You can’t do that with Verizon. You would be buying a very expensive phone that could never ever work on another network. Seems like a stupid purchase to me.

    • Lol. Mr Big pessimist. “Hee hee, Ho ho” “Har har, your you too?” Taking into account, as many people buy the iPhone, 40% of the population; as this old nostalgic apple vendetta. If you dont appreciate the technologies which were put into the new iPhone dont get one, but dont put shit onto a brand new production unit, there are always bugs to work out. Look at the Gps quality on Sprint’s Samsung Instinct it’s complete trash, but it dosen’t seem to get nearly close to having the negative feedback, of a more renowned brand, of new quality product; I think your expectations are unrealistic, and you bring shame to your name sir, please dont add yourself to the long list of iPhone buyers in the future. Apple makes products to inspire people to do better; much like they fight everyday to do, Remember, they came first. Then Microsoft. So before you start ripping them a new one; remember, not only did they recently have to instruct their programmers on how to code for intel; they also integrated new mobile platforms to follow, in pair. Ed: “If Apple had acknowledged the antenna problem, I would have bought one.
      “”when they didn’t, I canceled.”” (In double quotes; your mindset, is poor, which is where you deserve to be, for the lack of a better outlook on life; just go jump off of a bridge now, so my grandchildren, dont have to work on something important to the advancement of our race, and have it ruined, by the lack of intellectual suppourt of your grandchildren. You shame the Human race.) I love you too. I state this because I care about your feelings; You should be more positive. Keep your head up, and always believe in yourself, and the first company, to put a “real” smartphone on the market [tough love] Peace everyone.

    • This queer related his trust issues to buying from a multi billion dollar company, who recycles their equipment; I’d think they would come out with the facts buddy. Steve jobs is a good man.

  2. Oh cmon, a survey of less than 300 people in one section of one city in one state makes it “Costly for Apple?” Good grief. Not bagging on your article, Darrell, but Mr. Munster obviously was at a loss as to how to fill his quota of articles for the month.

    His next article will surely be titled “Apple is losing money cause my wife’s cousin’s roommate says so.”