Piper Jaffray: Antennagate Cost Apple 20% In Sales

According to a survey conducted by analyst firm Piper Jaffray, 20% of respondents decided not to buy the iPhone 4 due to its antenna problems.
Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster conducted a limited survey of 258 cell phone users in downtown Minneapolis, reports Fortune. The questions were meant to unearth consumer opinion on the iPhone 4 and if/how the device's signal attenuation problem affected consumers' decision to purchase the device.

What Munster and his team discovered is that 69% of the respondents were aware that the iPhone 4 has some sort of quality issue. One in five of those who knew about the iPhone 4's signal problems said the issue affected their decision to buy the iPhone 4.

Munster concludes that Apple lost 20% in sales due to Antennagate.

Apple has a bigger problem, however, according to Munster: the Verizon iPhone. Munster's survey contained no questions about a Verizon Wireless iPhone, but Fortune reports that the subject came up all on its own.

The results? Three in five (60%) of respondents who acknowledged the iPhone 4 antenna problem said the bigger reason they haven't bought an iPhone is because it isn't available from Verizon Wireless.

In other words, Apple's exclusive sales arrangement with AT&T is costing it iPhone sales, big time.

Munster said, "The antenna issue is removing upside potential for iPhone units, but Verizon is actually the most significant factor limiting demand."

I'll say. Reports have been rampant in recent weeks that AT&T's exclusive arrangement to sell the iPhone in the U.S. is coming to an end either in late 2010 or early 2011. Neither firm has said for sure.

Speculation over which other carrier or carriers will get the iPhone next includes all three remaining national carriers: Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

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