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AT&T could lose about 26% of its iPhone customers to Verizon, survey says

Verizon iPhone event

About 26% of Apple iPhone owners on AT&T are planning to switch to Verizon once it begins offering the highly coveted smart phone next month, according to a consumer survey from ChangeWave Research.

The majority of those iPhone owners -- about 41% -- will be making their switch in February, March or April, ChangeWave reported in its Survey of 4,050 mobile phone users released Thursday.

"The Verizon iPhone is causing a major transformational shift in the wireless industry, and for now the momentum clearly favors Verizon," said Paul Carton, vice president of research at ChangeWave, in the survey.

The survey was conducted in December before Verizon officially announced on Tuesday that it will start selling the iPhone starting Feb. 10, and asked users what they would do if Verizon announced an iPhone of its own.

AT&T isn't the only company that could lose subscribers to the Verizon iPhone, the survey said.

About 15% of T-Mobile users and about 10% of Sprint users said they're planning to head to Verizon to get an iPhone within the next 90 days, ChangeWave said.

Of those looking to dump AT&T for Verizon, 42% cited poor reception and coverage as their top reason for leaving, while 27% said dropped calls was their main motive, the survey said.


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Photo: Dan Mead, left, chief executive of Verizon Wireless, and Tim Cook, chief operating officer of Apple, announce on Tuesday that Verizon Wireless will carry Apple's iPhone. Credit: Mark Lennihan / Associated Press

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