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Customers Aren't Lining up for Verizon iPhones: 5 Reasons Why

Verizon (V) sold out of the Apple (APPL) iPhone preorder on its first day available online, but multiple outlets reported virtually no lines when it was finally available at the Verizon stores. Where are the stampeding crowds that usually hit Apple events? Here are five reasons why the people are lukewarm on the new iPhone.

1. It isn't a new iPhone
Users seem happy with the Verizon service compared to the overburdened AT&T (ATT) coverage as well as the hot spot capability. Otherwise, this is virtually the same phone that's been available since last summer.

2. AT&T users are still locked in contracts
A study found that 90 percent of AT&T's customers were still locked in a 2-year commitment when the Verizon iPhone launched. Breaking out of the contract could cost as much as $325. AT&T may have a bad reputation right now, but it isn't stupid.

3. AT&T offering a sweet mobile-to-mobile deal
A minor point here, but AT&T is now offering free mobile-to-mobile calls for customers with an unlimited messaging plan and a qualifying voice plan -- a sweet deal announced the day before the Verizon iPhone launch. As The Washington Post points out, however, Sprint has had the same deal for a while. For AT&T, it is more about the timing.

4. AT&T iPhones will get the same features as the Verizon

It is all but confirmed that AT&T iPhone users will get the currently exclusive perks enjoyed by Verizon ones, including Wi-Fi hot spots.

5. Customers know the iPhone 5 is coming
Apple announces a new iPhone every Spring and releases it every summer. Critics know this. And, by now, customers know this, too. They also realize that the Verizon contract will have them locked in for two years, which means they will miss two new iPhones -- this year's iPhone 5 and next year's proverbial iPhone 6 -- if they don't want to break their 2-year contract.

By being offered an old phone with a two-year contract a few months before a new phone arrives, customers are doing the most sensible thing: Waiting.

Photo courtesy of Mat Honan // CC 2.0

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