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Verizon iPhone: For consumers, the sooner the better

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(Read caption) Verizon iPhone would tempt many current AT and T subscribers, a new survey shows.

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Verizon iPhone, where art thou? According to a new study by Credit Suisse, 23 percent of iPhone users – 1.4 million people – would readily drop AT&T for Verizon, the carrier that currently powers the popular Droid lines. Still, only 3 percent of consumers would cancel their contract with AT&T and sign up directly with Verizon. The vast majority of iPhone users would wait until their AT&T contract had expired.

Rumors of a forthcoming Verizon iPhone have been circulating for months. "Sources with knowledge of this entire situation have assured me that Apple has submitted orders for millions of units of Qualcomm CDMA chipsets for a Verizon iPhone run due in December," TechCrunch's Steve Cheney reported back in August. So is a Verizon iPhone really coming? Well, the buzz is certainly high.

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And already, AT&T is responding. In a conference call earlier today, carrier CEO Randall Stephenson said that AT&T would not necessarily be hurt by the competition. “If you look at the iPhone base, about 80 percent is either on a family-talk plan or in a business relationship with us,” Stephenson said. “Those customers tend to be very sticky. They don’t churn very frequently.”

The iPhone 4 – which is currently offered only by AT&T – has been slammed by critics since its release in June of this year.

Most recently the staff of Consumer Reports lashed out at Apple for not adequately addressing the reception problems on the iPhone 4. "By putting the onus on any owners of a product to obtain a remedy to a design flaw is not acceptable to us. We therefore continue not to recommend the iPhone 4, and to call on Apple to provide a permanent fix for the phone's reception issues," Consumer Reports staffers wrote.