Apple iPhone 4 for Verizon: Fewer dropped calls than iPhone 4 for AT&T

A new ChangeWave survey of 4,068 consumers has taken a close up look at key comparisons between Verizon iPhone 4 owners and AT&T iPhone 4 owners – including customer satisfaction and dropped call rates.

The ChangeWave survey, completed March 28th, was conducted several weeks after Verizon began offering the iPhone 4. Among other things, the results provide insight into how owners believe the AT&T and Verizon iPhones stack up against each other in a couple of key areas.

Owner Satisfaction Ratings

Now that both AT&T and Verizon offer the iPhone 4, are there any differences in terms of owner satisfaction? The following chart compares the overall satisfaction rating of Verizon iPhone 4 owners vs. AT&T iPhone 4 owners.

In terms of overall satisfaction the two iPhones are virtually indistinguishable. A look at the Very Satisfied ratings for each shows 82% of Verizon iPhone 4 customers saying they’re Very Satisfied versus 80% of AT&T iPhone 4 customers.

ChangeWave iPhone Owner Satisfaction Ratings

Before looking at the dropped call rates reported by each set of iPhone owners, here’s a brief review of ChangeWave findings on overall dropped call rates for the major wireless service providers.

Overall Dropped Call Rates Among Wireless Providers

For the past few years ChangeWave has been tracking overall dropped call rates among the major wireless service providers in its consumer surveys.

In the current survey, Verizon continues to maintain the best overall rating in the industry, with their customers reporting on average only 1.4% of calls dropped over the past 90 days. T-Mobile (2.3%) comes in second, followed by Sprint/Nextel (2.7%).

AT&T ranks last among the four major providers in the current survey – with its customers reporting an average of 4.6% of calls dropped over the past 90 days.

ChangeWave Overall Dropped Call Rates Among Wireless Providers

Historical Perspective

AT&T has trailed Verizon in terms of overall dropped call rates since ChangeWave first began surveying on the subject back in September 2008. However, in our previous survey in December 2010 we noted that AT&T had registered a significant improvement on this measure. And in the current survey of 1,264 AT&T subscribers, their overall dropped call rate has improved once again, if only slightly (from 4.7% to 4.6%).

ChangeWave 03

At the same time, the overall dropped call rate among the 1,283 Verizon subscribers surveyed is now at its lowest level ever recorded in a ChangeWave survey (1.4%).

iPhone 4 Dropped Call Rates – Verizon vs. AT&T. The following chart compares the reported dropped call rates of Verizon iPhone 4 owners (1.8%) vs. AT&T iPhone 4 owners (4.8%) in the current ChangeWave survey.

ChangeWave iPhone 4 Dropped Call Rates – Verizon vs. AT&T

Similar to the historical patterns in our overall industry findings – Verizon iPhone 4 owners currently report a lower dropped call rate than their AT&T iPhone 4 counterparts.

Verizon iPhone 4 Owners vs. AT&T iPhone 4 Owners

In sum, while the survey finds overall customer satisfaction ratings are virtually indistinguishable between Verizon iPhone 4 owners and AT&T iPhone 4 owners, there are apparent differences in the relative percentage of reported dropped calls – where in the current survey Verizon is outperforming its industry rival.

We note, however, that Verizon is still in the early stages of its iPhone 4 offering to consumers. It remains to be seen how well the Verizon network performs as the number of Verizon iPhone 4 owners ramps up and inevitably puts more pressure on their system.

And in a sign of the magnitude of the ramp-up Verizon is facing, 46% of those who plan on buying an iPhone 4 in the future say they’ll use Verizon as their service provider compared with 27% for AT&T.

ChangeWave Verizon iPhone 4 Owners vs. AT&T iPhone 4 Owners

Full report details include:

• Demand for Apple iPhone (AAPL), Motorola (MMI), Research In Motion (RIMM), Samsung, and HTC smart phone handsets, among others
• Customer Satisfaction Ratings by Manufacturer and Operating System – including a historical comparison of Apple iPhone vs. RIM-BlackBerry
• Planned Buying Trends by Operating System – Biggest Winners and Losers
• Comparison of Android OS Demand vs. Apple iOS Demand
• Features Most Important to Planned Smart Phone Buyers
• Growth Trends: Overall Smart Phone Market

More info about the complete ChangeWave Report can be found here.


  1. Communist Verizon can suck it; nuff said. If they cared about YOU the customers, you would have had the iPhone from day one. Initial impressions will never go unforgotten. I was VZ customer once and will never go back to the dark side.

      1. Yes, but Apple offered the iPhone to Verizon first, and they blew it off. This pushed Apple into ATT arms and multiyear exclusive agreement. So, in this case Verizon made the decision.

        1. But the Verizon CEO denied as much about a week after their iPhone launch. He said that Apple was never interested in Verizon because of the CDMA technology they use.

  2. As I’ve pointed out before, ChangeWave surveys are pretty much rubbish. Look at those charts from the 1980s!

    Recall, Mike Abramsky of RBC and Katie Huberty of Morgan Stanley used these ChangeWave surveys to downgrade Apple twice in a single week, a couple years ago, that drove that huge selloff. That was because they cited a CW survey that they interpreted to mean that Mac sales over Xmas would drop. Of course when it didn’t happen, noone said a thing. ChangeWave is NOT to be trusted.

  3. Who knows if they are comparing apples to apples (no pun intended, really)? In the little town of Jackson, MI we just got 3G April 1st. Call quality has improved significantly. Quality had been steadily improving even under Edge. Now it’s even better.

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