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AT&T iPhone Users: There's a Penalty to Switch to Verizon

Critics expect the Verizon (VZ) iPhone to fly off the shelves next Friday, but according to a new report, nearly all of AT&T's (T) iPhone customers will have to pay a pretty penny to switch carriers. The 2-year contracts and other factors will keep AT&T safe -- for now.

Nearly all iPhones still under contract
The percentage is staggering: All Things D's John Paczkowski learned that 90 percent of AT&T iPhone contracts are still under 2-year contract, a number confirmed by the company itself. Wisely, as noted earlier, AT&T raised the early termination fee from $200 to $325 last summer, no doubt in anticipation of the iPhone exclusivity ending.

The termination fee lowers as the 2-year mark approaches, whittling down to a small $95 on the final month of the contract, but it's important to remember that the low-end Verizon iPhone only runs $199. In other words, even in the last moment of their AT&T contract, customers will have to pay 50 percent of the price of the iPhone to get away from AT&T.

iPhone 5 waiting in the wings -- of AT&T
AT&T has a bad reputation with service and coverage, but there are still many reasons Verizon won't see a bum rush next Friday:

Has the Verizon iPhone already affected AT&T? No doubt it has lost some customers, but too many factors are preventing them from fleeing -- no matter how loud the criticism gets.

Photo courtesy of Verizon

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