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We Have a Loser: New Survey Blames AT&T, not Apple, for Dropped iPhone Calls

The Apple (APPL) iPhone has had a notorious dropped call rate, leading to lots of finger-pointing at both AT&T's network and Apple's phone design. The new Verizon (V) iPhone finally gave the opportunity to compare the smartphone's service on another network, and the biggest survey yet now shows that AT&T, not Apple, is to blame for the awful service.

According to VentureBeat, ChangeWave Research surveyed more than 4,000 users and found the following dropped call rates:

  • 1.8 percent of the time for Verizon iPhone customers
  • 4.8 percent of the time for AT&T iPhone customers
In short, AT&T iPhone customers were about two and a half times more likely to have a dropped call. AT&T, of course, has millions more iPhone users than Verizon, simply because it has had the iPhone longer. However, Verizon actually about the same amount of customers as AT&T: As of 2010, 94 million compared to AT&T's 95 million. Certainly not enough to hurt the network less.

Most tellingly, the survey found that cell phone users had a low opinion of AT&T:

Potential iPhone owners seem well aware of the pitfalls of AT&T's network. The survey found that 46 percent of new iPhone 4 buyers will opt for Verizon, while 27 percent will go with AT&T (the other 27 percent still haven't decided).

AT&T will probably start losing customers as more of their expensive 2-year contracts lapse over the next 18 months. Refreshing that customer base makes the potential AT&T/T-Mobile deal that much more important.

Photo courtesy of someToast // CC 2.0

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