AT&T is the first carrier to partner with Apple on iPhones. Since 2007 it has sold millions, if not in billions, handsets to the US population. That is why it has the thickest edge in becoming the top seller of the iPhone 5. In a recent statement, the company said the initial demand of iPhone over the weekend is far more than last year’s iPhone 4S.
The carrier has both LTE-based 4G network, which has reach in only 62 markets in the US. Whereas its GSM-based 4G network that gets the data speeds closer to LTE speeds serves more than 275 Million customers. Their latest pitch has been ‘the largest 4G network.’ The company plans to expand to more than 150 markets at the year end.
On the other hand Verizon and Sprint Nextel are keeping mum on the pre-order figures. The reason is unknown but Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Brenda Raney said, “We aren’t going to issue a statement or comment on sales.”
Verizon has the largest 4G coverage network in the country engulfing almost 75 percent of the territory with its 4G LTE signals. It has the edge of being the largest LTE carrier in the country.
However, AT&T has some of the oldest customers in the country, many of whom have their contracts on verge of expiration. They are the most likely to upgrade to the new iPhone. On the other hand, it has most loyalty on their side.
One thing that could benefit Verizon and Sprint is the new data package announced by AT&T. As Apple brings FaceTime to wireless network in addition to WiFi, AT&T restricts the free use of 4G, or 3G for that matter for the video chatting app. Users will have to purchase a separate package to connect FaceTime to 4G or 3G.
Sprint, the least competitive is marketing its unlimited data packages to the public.
Out of four largest wireless carriers, T-Mobile USA is the only one who is not selling iPhone 5 mainly because it lacks 4G LTE.