uSamp Survey Finds Diehards are Willing to Wait for Verizon Launch

by || 02/03/2011

On Day One, 26 Percent of AT &T Customers Plan to Switch to Verizon for iPhone; Half of Verizon’s BlackBerry, Android Users Plan to Pick Apple, Toss Existing Devices

ENCINO, Calif. (February 3, 2011) – Neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of 3G-only networks will deter iPhone fans. As the end draws near for AT &T’s exclusive hold on the coveted iPhone from Apple, uSamp (www.uSamp.com), one of the world’s fastest growing technology and online sample companies, today released a nationwide survey of AT &T and Verizon customers to gauge their plans for the February 10 launch of Verizon’s iPhone. The ringing conclusion: a stalwart group of iPhone enthusiasts intends to line up on day one, regardless of severe weather, product quirks and service uncertainties.

Drawing from its highly profiled online panel from Jan. 28 to Jan. 31 to query AT&T customers — as well as current Verizon users of Android and BlackBerry phones — uSamp surveyed more than 700 smartphone users, finding that 29 percent of AT&T customers who intend to switch to Verizon for the iPhone are willing to wait in line on Feb. 10 to get it. Among existing Verizon customers who plan to get the iPhone, 24 percent report a willingness to stand in line, too.

For young consumers, devotion to the iPhone is even more intense: among AT &T customers intending to switch, 35 percent of those ages 18-24 and 50 percent of those ages 25-34 are willing to wait in line on the Feb. 10 launch day. For Verizon’s current BlackBerry and Android users who report plans to switch to the iPhone, 46 percent of those ages 18-24 and 34 percent of those ages 25-34 agree to wait in line on day one.

To Switch or Not to Switch (and Why)

The uSamp survey affirms initial reports of widespread defections from AT&T. According to the survey, more than a quarter of current AT &T customers (26 percent) intend to switch to Verizon’s iPhone on the day it becomes available. For now, however, the remaining 74 percent would rather wait than switch.

According to the uSamp survey, 47 percent say it is “very unlikely” that they’ll jump ship, 12 percent say it is “somewhat unlikely,” and another 15 percent report it is neither likely nor unlikely. Twenty-six percent of AT&T customers say they are “very likely” (8 percent) or “somewhat likely” (18 percent) to switch to Verizon’s iPhone on February 10. By contrast, a majority of Verizon’s current Android and BlackBerry users already have iPhone fever, reporting that they intend to head to Apple as soon as the iPhone hits the shelves: 54 percent are very likely (25 percent) or somewhat likely (29 percent) to go iPhone on February 10. Research in Motion, take note: fully two-thirds of Verizon’s BlackBerry users (66 percent) report they are very or somewhat likely to switch to the iPhone that day, as are nearly half of its Android users (44 percent).

As AT &T loses its monopoly on the iPhone, its customers who plan to switch to Verizon have one clear-cut reason: dropped calls (48 percent). Other factors cited: carrier coverage (25 percent), product features (22 percent) and other reasons (30 percent).

For switchers among Verizon’s current Android and BlackBerry users, it’s all about the cool features: the interface (60 percent), web browser (58 percent), media (51 percent), memory (43 percent), and camera (41 percent).

Still, brand loyalty isn’t dead by any stretch. The top two reasons Verizon’s current smartphone users do not plan to give up their Androids or BlackBerrys in favor of the iPhone: conversion costs (46 percent) and the keyboard (34 percent). Other reasons not to switch included functions such as e-mail and messaging (23 percent), maps and GPS (23 percent), customization and widgets (20 percent), web browser (19 percent) and, for BlackBerry users, BlackBerry messenger (28 percent).

When asked if learning details about Verizon’s actual iPhone offering had led to second thoughts about switching, respondents cited the cost of conversion as the biggest concern (45 percent for AT &T customers, 41 percent for Verizon). AT &T customers had bigger fears than Verizon’s about a potential decline in Verizon’s service (25 percent for AT &T customers, 15 percent for  Verizon). Both groups showed relatively equal concern about network speed (22 percent for AT &T customers, 26 percent for Verizon) as well as the risk of being first (19 percent for AT&T customers, 18 percent for Verizon). Despite these and other unknowns, 15 percent of AT &T customers reported having no second thoughts about switching, along with 25 percent of Verizon’s current BlackBerry and Android users.

Dissecting the Data: Demographic Data Points

In addition to top-line results, the data reveals some intriguing differences among AT &T customers and Verizon’s current BlackBerry and Android users, including along demographic lines such as age, gender and region. The findings include:

• Men are more likely than women to switch to Verizon’s iPhone (32 percent of males at AT &T are somewhat or very likely,vs. 20 percent of females; 58 percent of males at Verizon, vs. 51 percent of females).

• Younger customers are not only more willing to wait in line for Verizon’s iPhone on Feb. 10 but, in general, they are more likely to make the switch: 36 percent of AT &T customers ages 18-24 and 41 percent ages 25-34 are very or somewhat likely to switch (vs. 26 percent for all AT&T customers); for Verizon’s current BlackBerry and Android users, 71 percent of those ages 18-24 are somewhat or very likely to switch on Feb. 10, as are 60 percent of those ages 25-34 (vs. 54 percent of all Verizon BlackBerry and Android users).

• Midwestern Verizon users of BlackBerry and Android are least willing to wait in line for the iPhone on Feb. 10 (13 percent, vs. 31 percent in the South, 26 percent in the Northeast, and 22 percent in the West). Regional differences among current AT &T users are minor (31 percent for both the Northeast and the South, 29 percent for the Midwest, and 25 percent for the West).

uSamp’s iPhone survey was conducted online among 727 U.S. residents between Jan. 28 and Jan. 31, 2011 using the uSamp/DMS River Sample® methodology and resulting in a 3.6 percent margin of error. For a full copy of the report, which includes data by gender, age and region, email [email protected]

About uSamp™

uSamp (uSamp.com) is one of the world’s fastest growing technology and online sample companies, providing global survey panelists and an innovative sampling platform for use in market research. uSamp develops collaborative market research tools to foster more rewarding, profitable relationships between organizations and the people they serve. Founded in 2008, uSamp acquired DMS Insights in June 2010 and now has 160 team members worldwide and approximately 4.7 million global market research panelists. The company’s web-based panel platform is transforming the management and delivery of online panel for market researchers, offering unprecedented access over their panel. uSamp’s deep well of proprietary technologies includes SampleMarket™, PanelNet™, PanelShield™, Opinion Place® River and real-time Panel Book Search — cutting-edge solutions for accessing, branding, sampling and managing panels. uSamp is based in Los Angeles, with offices in Dallas, London, New Delhi and Trumbull, CT.