One-Third of Verizon Customers Prime Targets for iPhone

Verizon iPhone rumors are about as old as the iPhone itself, but those rumors have finally been put to rest to the delight of countless  Verizon customers as the carrier announced on Tuesday that it would be adding the smartphone of smartphones to its roster. The announcement ends four years of AT&T exclusivity with the iPhone and gives Apple access to Verizon’s estimated 93 million customers. The Wall Street Journal reports that analysts estimate Verizon could sell nine million iPhones this year. Those sales are likely to come from the sizable and growing cohort of Verizon customers who say that a phone’s extra features-those unrelated to the traditional calling functions-are more important to them.

Weekly data from Experian Simmons DataStream shows that ever since the iPhone4 was first unveiled by Steve Jobs on June 7, 2010 Verizon customers have increasingly placed priority on the non-calling features of their cell phone. In fact, on June 15, 2010, only 23.5% of Verizon cell phone subscribers said extra features were more important to them, but by November 29, 2010, a third of Verizon customers (32.6%) had come to the conclusion that their phone’s extra features are more important to them than making calls, a relative increase of 39% in just five months.

Additional data from Experian Simmons further supports Apple’s decision to partner with Verizon. According to the Simmons National Consumer Study, Verizon cell phone subscribers are 28% more likely than the average American to have a Mac computer at home and 17% more likely to be exclusive Mac households. AT&T is the only cell phone provider that ranks higher than Verizon for Mac owners. Specifically, 5.8% of all Americans have a Mac computer at home and 2.1% of Americans have only a Mac. By comparison, 7.5% of Verizon cell phone subscribers have a Mac and 2.5% have a Mac exclusively. Among AT&T cell phone subscribers, 8.7% have at least one Mac and 2.8% have only a Mac.

With many Verizon customers expected to switch to the iPhone, Apple can almost certainly bet they will get some more Mac sales out of this new market as well.

For more information on Simmons DataStream weekly reporting of nearly 40,000 consumer variables, visit our website.