iPhones Are Still the Majority of Verizon’s Smartphone Sales

Published on April 18, 2013
by John Paczkowski

iphone5_top-cropVerizon Wireless activated 7.2 million smartphones in its first quarter — far less than the 9.8 million it did in the fourth. But once again it sold more iPhones than it did any other handset.

Of those 7.2 million smartphones, 55.6 percent were iPhones. And while that’s a decline from the 63.3 percent share the device captured in the previous quarter, it’s still an impressive number. Four million iPhones sold. Of those, roughly half were 4G LTE devices, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said during an earnings call. So, for the quarter, the carrier sold two million iPhone 5 units — the only Apple handset that currently supports LTE.

Now, that’s about one million fewer iPhone 5 units and two million iPhones overall than Verizon activated between September and December 2012. But that was a very different quarter, no? For one thing, it was a holiday quarter. For another, it was the quarter in which the iPhone 5 debuted. Finally, it was a period in which Apple cut the price on its legacy iPhones, the 4S and 4.

So, yes, the iPhone’s share of sales at Verizon slipped 33 percent from the fourth quarter to the first. But even so, they still accounted for more than half of all handsets sold at the carrier. Keep in mind, Verizon sells three models of the iPhone — the 5, 4 and 4S. It sells 20 different Android handsets. So capturing 55 percent of all handset sales in that scenario — not bad at all. Moreover, as Asymco’s Horace Dediu notes, iPhone shipments actually increased 25 percent year over year.

Yet Apple shares fell about 2 percent to $394.92 this morning — a day after slipping below the $400 mark for the first time since December of 2011.

Something to keep in mind as Apple prepares to report quarterly results to a market that has lately been disappointed by record-breaking but “lower-than-expected” iPhone sales.

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