Although competition for the iPhone has reduced churn for Sprint and Verizon, AT&T’s status as the first carrier to have the game-changing device continues to pay dividends in neutral territory, online and when it comes to getting new customers.
According to a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), new iPhone sales for use on AT&T’s network led in non-carrier-owned channels such as the Apple Store, Best Buy and warehouse and other mass merchants. According to the report, AT&T accounted for 62% of iPhone sales at those outlets, while Verizon accounted for 26% and Sprint accounted for 12%. (In individual sales channels, Sprint lagged behind Verizon and AT&T at Apple Stores, while Verizon was slightly behind Sprint and AT&T at Best Buy.)
Sprint also lags when it comes to selling phones through retail channels. According to the data, both AT&T and Verzion each sold about a quarter of their iPhones through the online channel, while Sprint only sold 13% of its iPhones online.
Although adding the iPhone has benefited both Sprint and Verizon with being able to reduce customer churn, AT&T is getting more of the customers coming from T-Mobile and other carriers than Sprint or Verizon, according to CIRP.
“Even at the multi-carrier stores, most customers don’t switch carriers very much,” said Josh Lowitz, CIRP Partner and co-founder, in a statement. “As the new iPhone carriers, Sprint and Verizon have fewer upgrade customers coming in than AT&T. Still, they get their fair share of customers coming from T-Mobile and the pre-pay providers.”