AT&T, Verizon neck and neck on iPhone 4 satisfaction

Though Verizon iPhone customers report fewer dropped calls, ChangeWave says

iPhone 4 customer satisfaction ratings are basically identical for Verizon and AT&T subscribers, according to a new survey by ChangeWave Research. But at least for now, Verizon iPhone users report fewer dropped calls than those on AT&T.

But the report notes that the Verizon uptake for iPhone 4 is still in very early stages. "It remains to be seen how well the Verizon network performs as the number of Verizon iPhone 4 owners ramps up and inevitably puts more pressure on their system," according to ChangeWave.

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The market watcher predicts a lot of pressure: 46% of those who plan on buying an iPhone 4 in the future say they'll use Verizon, versus 27% who will choose AT&T.

The survey of just over 4,000 consumers was completed March 28, several weeks after Verizon began offering iPhone 4.

Users on both networks are extremely happy with their iPhones. Fully 82% of Verizon customers saying they're "Very Satisfied" compared to 80% of AT&T customers.

ChangeWave has been tracking dropped call rates among the major wireless carriers based on consumer responses in its surveys. In the most recent one, Verizon maintains the best overall rating: customers report on average only 1.4% of calls dropped over the past 90 days. T-Mobile with 2.3% is second, then Sprint Nextel at 2.7%, and AT&T last, at 4.6% of calls dropped in that same period.

The December survey showed a big improvement for AT&T, and the most recent one showed a slight improvement over that, decreasing to 4.6% from 4.7%

For iPhone users, the dropped call rates show a similar spread: For Verizon iPhone 4 owners it was 1.8% and for AT&T iPhone 4 owners it was 4.8%.

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