He told the crowd that switching carriers is a tough thing for many customers to do. He said that 70% of AT&T customers are on family plans, which are tough to get out of. He also said that 40% of AT&T customers are on corporate discount plans, which can be a pain to let go of.
AT&T has been the exclusive source for the iPhone for the last 3 years, while Apple has often moved to multiple carriers overseas. The majority of AT&T complaints have been dropped calls, poor signal strength, and the lack of tethering, which was promised but hasn't been delivered as yet. It appears to be built into the soon to be released iPhone OS 4, but having the capability and turning it on are two different things.
Survey after survey shows customers unhappy with AT&T, and the company has responded with some increased expenditures in cities that had really bad reception issues and a re-branding.
Would Apple add Verizon to get existing Verizon customers who want the iPhone, thinking that most AT&T customers will stay with what they have? How about you? Would you ditch AT&T for Verizon, even if you had a family plan or corporate discounts?
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.