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Even before the Verizon iPhone launched, pretty much everyone expected it to drop calls less than the iPhone on AT&T, which has become notorious for its network flakiness. Now a survey by ChangeWave Research shows us just how much better Verizon’s iPhone is at sustaining a simple phone call.

ChangeWave surveyed 4,068 consumers and found that Verizon iPhone owners dropped calls 1.8 percent of the time, while AT&T iPhone owners saw a much higher drop rate of 4.8 percent. Those numbers don’t seem to be iPhone specific: the company also found that network-wide Verizon customers saw a dropped call rate of 1.4 percent, while AT&T customers faced the industry’s worst rate of 4.6 percent.

The survey doesn’t tell us much that we don’t already know, but it’s always good to see our assumptions backed up by data. It’s unclear where ChangeWave actually surveyed cellular users — I know that if it took place in notorious AT&T fail zones like New York and San Francisco, its dropped call rate would be much higher.

iPhone users seem to be equally satisfied with the device on both AT&T and Verizon. According to the survey, 82 percent of Verizon iPhone owners were very satisfied with the device, compared to 80 percent of users on AT&T. 16 percent of Verizon users were somewhat satisfied, while 18 percent of AT&T users felt the same.

It’ll be interesting to see how Verizon’s iPhone experience compares to AT&T’s in a year or so. Right now Verizon only has a handful of iPhone users compared to AT&T.

Potential iPhone owners seem well aware of the pitfalls of AT&T’s network. The survey found that 46 percent of new iPhone 4 buyers will opt for Verizon, while 27 percent will go with AT&T (the other 27 percent still haven’t decided).

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