Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

iPhone owners least likely to switch when service sucks

May 3, 2012: 11:00 AM ET

Blackberry and Android users are quicker to drop both their phone and their carrier

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FORTUNE -- A new survey of smartphone users doesn't speak well for the quality of the cellular telephone service provided by U.S. carriers.

Roughly 40% of respondents said they experience at least five dropped calls a month, and 9 out of 10 said they'd be willing to switch carriers due to poor call quality.

But in this regard, not all cell phone owners were alike.

Owners of Apple (AAPL) iPhones were marginally more likely to stick with their carrier (18.5% vs. 15% for BlackBerry and 14% for Android), no matter how unhappy with their provider. And they were significantly more likely to stick with their phone (29% vs. 17.5% for BlackBerry andĀ 18.7% for Android. (See chart.)

This is not terribly surprising, given the high satisfaction marks the iPhone has been getting over the years.

This survey was conducted onĀ March 6 using SurveyMonkey, an online service, which polled 992 U.S. mobile phone owners. It was sponsored by Rebtel, a mobile voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) provider that competes with Skype, so naturally the respondents were asked what they did when their carrier crapped out.

Curiously, the poll uncovered a distinct gender difference. As Rebtel's press release put it:

  • Men are 90% more likely (38% vs. 20%) to use a mobile VoIP app as an alternative to their carrier's regular calling service.
  • Women are 47% more likely than men (44% vs. 30%) to use a text messaging service as an alternative to their carrier's regular calling service.

You can see the rest of the results here.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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