Survey: iPhone 4 Antenna Problems, Verizon Costly for Apple

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According to a survey released by professional Apple 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 network. That was despite the fact that no survey question actually mentioned the AT&T 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 or another kind of phone not listed. Nokia and Android 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

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