In a poll that asked 4,040 smartphone users in March how many dropped calls they had experienced in the past three months, AT&T — the exclusive U.S. carrier of Apple’s AAPL iPhone and iPad mobile devices — came in dead last among the country’s four largest carriers.
Verizon VZ customers reported losing only 1.5% of their calls over the past three months, the lowest in the smartphone industry and the lowest percentage for a carrier ever recorded by ChangeWave.
AT&T customers, by contrast, reported 4.5% of calls dropped in the last three months. That’s one out of every 22 calls — three times as many as Verizon’s and the worst percentage ChangeWave has ever seen.
This is not good news for AT&T or for Apple, which has cited AT&T’s plans for improving its network as the reason it is sticking with the carrier — at least for now.
In the same survey, Sprint S was the country’s second most reliable carrier, with 2.4% of calls dropped, and T-Mobile DT the third, with 2.8% of calls dropped.
Below: A chart tracking the results of similar surveys dating back to Sept. 2008. It shows a growing number of dropped calls for AT&T and a steadily falling number for Verizon.
The number of calls that get dropped by one’s carrier correlates closely with overall satisfaction, according to ChangeWave, as evidenced by the chart below:
The survey was conducted between March 9 and March 23.