Verizon iPhones not as popular as AT&T, but gaining

Oct 21, 2011
Tech

Yet another earnings call is shedding a little more light on the state of iPhone sales in the U.S., with Verizon revealing the device’s sales numbers for the quarter ending in September. Verizon reported that it sold some 2 million iPhones, which accounted for more than a third of its total smartphones sold at 5.6 […]

Yet another earnings call is shedding a little more light on the state of iPhone sales in the U.S., with Verizon revealing the device’s sales numbers for the quarter ending in September.

Verizon reported that it sold some 2 million iPhones, which accounted for more than a third of its total smartphones sold at 5.6 million, according to a story from Apple Insider. The rest, obviously, were Android devices, but the iPhone number clocks Verizon in at just about 700,000 fewer iPhones than rival AT&T.

That’s showing progress for Verizon, actually. Back in July, it was revealed that AT&T activated 1.3 million more iPhones during that quarter than Verizon, indicating that the gap has been close to halved in just one quarter. AT&T has been carrying the iPhone since it was launched in 2007, but the device has only been offered on Verizon’s network since earlier this year.

Both carriers and Apple are reporting lower iPhone sales from the last quarter than the year previous. AT&T activated a total of 2.7 million iPhones, and Apple reported selling 17.1 million for the quarter. But Apple’s numbers were down from the 20.1 million devices sold during that time last year, which Apple blamed on the imminent release of the iPhone 4S and rumors that caused people to wait. The tech giant’s stock fell on the speculation that rival Samsung outpaced it for the first time last quarter, making it and not Apple the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world.

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We’ll see if that holds true through the quarter that started on Oct. 1, however, given the strong sales of the iPhone 4S. Verizon declined to report how many 4S units it had sold since the device’s release, but it did say that it was pleased with the numbers and that they’d sold out on the first day. It’s probably fair to expect Verizon’s numbers to approach the 1 million activated iPhones 4S activations reported by AT&T. Add those to the 4 million reported sold by Apple, and the numbers are already climbing pretty high (though whether those activations AT&T is counting are phone sold by Apple remains to be seen).

All in all though, Verizon has a pretty phenomenal quarter, with its profits for the last quarter rising to $1.38 billion, up from the $659 million it reported during the same time last year. That’s an increase of better than double, and it’s probably fair to say that a significant portion of that increase came riding on the back of the iPhone 4.

The next quarter will be an interesting one among the carriers, given that Sprint and regional carrier C Spire will both carry the iPhone going forward. Where AT&T is working to reduce its reliance on the iPhone, Verizon is already in good shape, given that it only just added the device. How the top three major networks work to compete for Apple fans’ loyalties will hopefully lead to some innovation on their parts, and maybe some money saved for the rest of us.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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