The Verizon iPhone 6 has a golden opportunity to become a wedge for stealing customers away from rival AT&T, but only if Verizon is willing to flip the switch on a feature it’s been holding back on from day one. Verizon has been offering the iPhone since midway through the iPhone 4 era in 2011, relying on its lead in the 4G LTE market and its higher quality voice network to drive sales. But AT&T has long been able to claim the singular advantage of allowing its iPhone users to talk on the phone and access the cellular data network simultaneously, even as Verizon has inexplicably left this feature out. Now the iPhone 6 may change that.
AT&T is fighting back aggressively against Verizon by offering cheaper pricing on data plans and a faster (though not as widely available) 4G LTE data network. That’s left Verizon with less ammunition for luring iPhone users away from AT&T, which once had an exclusive stranglehold on the iPhone market. That may leave Verizon with no choice but to begin offering talk and surf on the iPhone 6. Such a move could spell trouble for AT&T, which is still overly reliant on iPhone revenue despite the rise of the Android platform.
Both Verizon and AT&T will also have to worry about the impending merger of Sprint and T-Mobile, which could give the combined third place carrier additional clout in marketing itself as the budget iPhone 6 alternative.