No. But the WSJ feels otherwise. Their arguments:
- The iPhone used to generate 40% new users for AT&T in 2007. Now that has dropped "all the way down" to 35%. No other Smartphone brings over a third of their customers from another network or anything close to that. What is a good number for the WSJ? 90%?
- The iPhone generates about $2000 in revenue per customer over the two years of the contract if you deduct the estimated $400 subsidy. There are 9 million iPhones on AT&T’s network. That is $18 Billion in revenue. Not too shabby.
- The heavy iPhone network usage has caused harm to AT&T’s reputation. It has and rightly so. Perhaps if AT&T used some of that revenue above to build out its network in a timely manner (it has been two years), iPhone users wouldn’t feel so short – changed. For $100/month you should be able to make a 5 minute call without getting dropped.
- When Verizon gets the iPhone, a lot of customers will defect – therefore Apple is the only beneficiary. True, but AT&T has had every opportunity to keep their customers. They have done a poor job.
The facts that the Journal give as rationale for the iPhone being a bad deal for AT&T could easily be made into a good deal proposition for AT&T. Do you think any other carrier would like a chance to carry the iPhone?