Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

No iPhone? No Worries: Verizon Wireless Still Growing.

Boomtown aside, not every consumer is swayed by the iPhone: Just ask Verizon, whose wireless operations added another 1.4 million customers in the last quarter–despite the fact that the company can’t offer Apple’s wonderphone.

The new numbers come via Verizon’s Q4 report on earnings, which were OK, considering the brutal economy: The company reported earnings of $0.61 per share on revenues of $24.6 billion. Wall Street was fine with the earnings number, but had been expecting slightly higher revenues of $24.74 billion.

Verizon’s wireless growth was slower compared to the year before, when it added two million subs. Perhaps the company could have goosed those numbers with a better launch of its BlackBerry Storm, its would-be iPhone competitor from Research In Motion (RIMM). But despite a good-size media blitz, Verizon (VZ) was only able to move 500,000 units during the last quarter, according to reports.

So if those new customers aren’t buying iPhones–which are exclusive to Apple (AAPL) partner AT&T (T)–and they’re not buying Storms, then there’s a good chance they’re signing up for run-of-the-mill “feature phones.” That’s too bad: Verizon will take growth anywhere it can get it at this point, but it would rather sell high-end phones like the Storm, which generate lucrative data fees for the company.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik