AT&T: We’re not seeing subscribers flee to iPhone rivals


AT&T isn’t seeing its network subscribers jumping the fence for greener pastures in the wake of rivals Sprint and Verizon getting the Apple iPhone, an AT&T executive said in an interview with MarketWatch on Wednesday. In fact, it hasn’t seen subscriber loss rates change at all, and it continues to experience high demand for the iPhone 4S.

Speaking to MarketWatch, AT&T President of Emerging Devices Glen Lurie said that “churn [the number of customers who cancel their services] has not moved at all.” That’s pretty much in keeping with what we saw in a third-party report from analytics firm Localytics earlier this month.

Lurie went on to praise Apple and its flagship smartphone, noting the record-breaking numbers AT&T saw in terms of iPhone 4S sales so far. AT&T is also still having trouble keeping up with demand, Lurie said, with customers currently facing a week or two delay in order to get their hands on a 4S when ordering from the carrier.

Network speed is one of AT&T’s primary advantages over the competition with the iPhone 4S, and it could be one reason users aren’t eager to switch providers. It’s the only carrier that can offer HSPA+ speeds on the device, and subscribers on Sprint have complained of slow browsing on 3G connections.

Still, AT&T’s competitors also appear to be happy with the iPhone’s sales performance on their networks. Sprint confirmed early on that the iPhone 4 and 4S beat its previous one-day sales record by a wide margin, and Verizon said during its most recent quarterly report that iPhone 4 and 4S sales remain strong. In other words, it doesn’t look like anyone has to lose in order for AT&T to win in this case.

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