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:
- AT&T will likely get the iPhone 5 this summer, while Verizon will have to wait until the fall or winter
- Verizon's CDMA platform doesn't allow voice and data at the same time, which means, for example, no web searches while talking on the phone
- The Verizon hotspot capability will be on all iPhones shortly
- Many AT&T customers are on family plans, which means they can't jump to Verizon on a whim
Photo courtesy of Verizon