AT&T could lose 26% of iPhone customers, study suggests

With Verizon picking up the iPhone 4 in the US, market research firm ChangeWave decided to see just how much of an impact the new carrier would have on AT&T. The result of a survey of over 4,000 U.S. consumers shows that a whopping 26 percent of respondents said that they would drop AT&T for Verizon.

42 percent of the folks who say they're going to move to VZW say that they're tired of the poor reception they get on the AT&T network, while 27 percent stated that dropped calls were the reason.

Paul Carton, director of research at ChangeWave, noted that AT&T's current "churn rate" -- the number of subscribers who say they are planning to change carriers in the next 90 days -- is at an all-time high of around 15 percent at this point. Only last June, that rate was at about 9 percent. Verizon's churn rate is only about 4 percent by comparison.

ChangeWave did find a sliver lining to AT&T's cloudy future, as the carrier has improved the rate at which it drops calls. Only 4.7 percent of AT&T subscribers reported a dropped call in the last 90 days, down from 6 percent back in September of 2010.

TUAW would like to perform its own market research with our awesome readers, so we'd like to know if current AT&T iPhone customers are planning on jumping ship for Verizon Wireless. Take our reader poll and enjoy the results.

Update: An AT&T spokesperson noted that both Piper Jaffray and Hudson Square published information today showing that only 6 - 8 percent of people in line today were previously with AT&T; much less than one would expect from the ChangeWave figures. Forbes ran a post that also talked about the light turnout for the Verizon iPhone. The AT&T spokesperson also noted that they're seeing record low churn -- about 1.15 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, much less than ChangeWave's numbers show.