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How Much of a Threat Is Sprint Unlimited Data Plan on the iPhone to AT&T?

Carrier loyalty is high in the USA

Sprint's offer of an unlimited data plan on both the iPhone 4 and 4S could drive dissatisfied AT&T customers to make the switch.

Data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that almost one quarter of new Sprint customers join the carrier because dissatisfied with the previous network, and "additional services" (which includes the unlimited data plan) is a reason to join for 12%, versus only 4% for AT&T.

However, carrier loyalty is high in the USA: "only 7% of AT&T customers left the carrier over the past year" continues Lara Biddiscombe, "and as many had already upgraded to the new iPhone 4 in 2010, only 0.1% left for the same model on Verizon when it launched at the beginning of 2011" (Year on year to April 2011).

As such, Sprint's biggest opportunity is to sell the iPhone 4S to its current customers, of which 51% could soon be ready to upgrade as they have been on a contract with the carrier for 18 months or more.

Note: Data is to 5th September 2011 and excludes enterprise sales.

More Stories By Clelia Di Tacchio

Clelia Di Tacchio an Account Manager for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, producing insight reports for a variety of clients in the telecom industry.

ComTech is the largest longitudinal research consumer mobile phone tracking panel of its kind in the world, conducting 260,000 interviews per year in the USA. ComTech tracks mobile phone behavior, including purchasing of phones, mobile phone bills/airtime, source of purchase and phone usage and delivers beyond market share tracking to understand drivers of share changes, market dynamics through consumer insight.