Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q1 2012: iPhone 4S still more than half of Verizon's smartphone sales

Verizon gave investors the first look at the overall sales numbers for the iPhone during the first calendar quarter of 2012 (Apple's fiscal Q2 2012). Analysts generally expect Apple's iPhone sales for the Q1 2012 to be down slightly from its record-setting 37 million number in the prior quarter, and Verizon's results seem to give credence to that believe, although limited to the U.S.

Verizon said it activated 3.2 million iPhones during calendar Q1 2012. In calendar Q4 2011, it activated 4.3 million iPhones. That's about a 25 percent downturn, but some of that will be made up by the increased international availability of the iPhone 4S during the first quarter. Certainly, the iPhone 4S launching on China Unicom in mid-January, then expanding to China Telecom in early March can't do anything but help Apple's numbers.

Additionally, it's not just the iPhone that saw a downturn on Verizon's network. The carrier reported sales of 6.3 million smartphones during the first quarter, so the iPhone continues to represent more than half of its smartphone business. In Q4 2011, Verizon sold 7.7 million smartphones overall, with the iPhone's 4.3 million sales number again representing more than half of total smartphone sales.

In America, Verizon's iPhone still badly trails that of AT&T's in terms of speed, since it is a 3G CDMA phone on Verizon's network, as opposed to AT&T's far faster faux 4G HSPA+.

However, Verizon has said all the phones it releases for the rest of 2012 will be LTE-enabled. That points to the iPhone 5 begin an LTE iPhone, for the first time, but Verizon will still trail AT&T in terms of speed: recent tests showed AT&T's LTE outspeeding Verizon's LTE.

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