Verizon iPhone is out. This, whether AT&T likes to admit it or not, is going to be a blow to them as subscribers go to Verizon for their iPhone fix. Losing exclusivity for a popular product sucks for any company (though it’s nice for us consumers), and now AT&T is going to have to prove that they are worth choosing over Verizon for customers who want an iPhone.
Let’s take a look at how AT&T can step up their service in order to compete with Verizon:
1) Roll out the 4G Coverage
AT&T recently announced plans to pick up 700MHz wireless spectrum licenses from chipmaker Qualcomm for nearly $2 billion. It’s about time, as they seem to be behind their rivals in bringing 4G to their subscribers. AT&T still considers themselves the “Nation’s fastest network. Period.” but it will take more than that to compete with the other guys. They are hoping to launch by midway through 2011, and hope to reach 70 million to 75 million customers.
2) Unlimited Data
Hey, that load that Verizon will be taking off of AT&T may actually help AT&T provide a more reliable network without enforcing limits on monthly data usage. As it is, AT&T’s plans are a huge mess of add-ons and extras, while carriers like Verizon have simple plans like “Unlimted Talk and Text for XX dollars and unlimited data for XX dollars. Meanwhile Sprint offers one of the most consumer-friendly plans by breaking them down and making their top plan the “Simply Everything Plan” which is just what it says. “Simply Everything” your smartphone may need to do. Maybe AT&T can take a few lessons from them when coming up with their pricing tiers.
3) More Reliable Network
Right Now, AT&T says that their network struggles thanks to all the data usage. If they are right, we might see two things.
1) AT&T’s load will lighten as iPhone users jump to Verizon, and they can then provide better service overall.
2) Verizon will learn that data-hungry iPhone users are data-hungry. New iPhone users will flock to the App Store and to iTunes, most of them will probably do it over 3G, slamming Verizon’s network. We will then hear a repeat of the stories we heard four years ago.
4) Better Rates
Maybe we are dreaming, but why not? If AT&T’s network can manage to accomplish better pricing than Verizon, they may be able to win the hearts of some of their customers. We just hope that losing the iPhone exclusivity is enough to put them on their toes.
5) Competitive Pricing
This may already be starting. Both AT&T and Apple have dropped the price of the iPhone 3GS with contract. You can buy the handset for $49. The iPhone 4 remains at $199 and $299. Clearing inventory, or will we see better pricing from AT&T?
It’s also been reported in the past that Verizon is willing to pay a pretty penny to ensure that the iPhone doesn’t make it to Sprint and T-Mobile by paying a much higher price per handset. This will lower their profit per phone, therefore keeping their price a bit higher if they don’t want to take the loss.
Are You Making The Switch?
Chances are that if you’re here, you’re interested in a Verizon iPhone. Perhaps you have an iPhone with AT&T. Maybe you’ve been waiting for someone other than AT&T to get the iPhone. It’s happening soon.
What’s your situation? Are you planning on switching? Will this make a difference when your contract expires?
Let us know in the comments.