iPhone Satisfaction, Sprint Unlimited Data

It's all but 100% certain that the iPhone will be coming to Sprint -- and maybe T-Mobile as well -- as soon as next month. The rumor is that Sprint will offer unlimited data on the iPhone as a differentiator vs. AT&T and Verizon. The pricing would probably be $99 (plus a $10 data supplement) in all likelihood.

By offering unlimited data Sprint believes it can lure customers from AT&T and Verizon. I initially thought that was a correct assumption but at $100 per month it may not be. With more aggressive pricing it would work. But probably not at $100 a pop; there's too much "inertia" against switching. 

There are also those who believe that Sprint would have to move to tiered pricing once really heavy iPhone data usage kicked in. I don't agree; Sprint has lots of Android customers (including me) whose data usage patterns are not substantially different than iPhone owners. And Sprint's network has considerably more capacity than AT&T for example. 

Sprint would probably see upgrading by many of its customers, from feature phones or potential switching from Android devices. I would qualify as one in the intended latter category. I've been reasonably satisfied with my Android EVO but have had pent up demand for an iPhone for about five years. I just haven't wanted to switch carriers. 

In a related bit of news, yesterday JD Power and Associates released its smartphone customer satisfaction rankings and found that the iPhone was on top for the sixth straight time:

Apple ranks highest among manufacturers of smartphones in customer satisfaction. Apple achieves a score of 838 and performs well in all factors, particularly in ease of operation and features. HTC (801) follows Apple in the smartphone rankings.

Samsung ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction with traditional handsets with a score of 718. Samsung performs well in three factors: performance, ease of operation and features. LG (717), Sanyo (716) and Sony Ericsson (709) follow Samsung in the traditional handset rankings.