Apple has released iOS version 4.3.3 for the iPhone 4 (GSM), iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad and iPod touch (third and fourth generation), just as we reported. The only changes noted by Apple with this release pertain to the location tracking bug discovered recently. Apple states that this release “contains changes to the iOS crowd-sourced location database cache.” More specifically, the update “reduces the size of the cache,” “no longer backs the cache up to iTunes,” and “deletes the cache entirely when Location Services is turned off.” An update carrying similar changes — iOS 4.2.8 — is available for the Verizon Wireless iPhone 4 as well.
In the company’s earnings report on Thursday, Verizon Wireless revealed that it activated 2.2 million iPhone 4 units in the first quarter of 2011. While AT&T reported earlier this week that it activated 3.6 million iPhones in the March quarter — 64% more than Verizon Wireless — the story doesn’t end there. AT&T’s loss of iPhone exclusivity might not have had the immediate dramatic impact some analysts predicted, but Verizon did manage to achieve a milestone right out of the gate: the nation’s top carrier activated iPhones at a much faster pace in the first quarter of 2011 than rival AT&T. While AT&T activated plenty more units, those activations were spread over the full 13 weeks of the March quarter. Verizon Wireless released the iPhone 4 just seven weeks ago on February 10th. As such, AT&T activated iPhones at a rate of 277,000 per week while Verizon Wireless was activating an average of roughly 314,000 units each week. The device was brand new for Verizon, of course, and pent up demand for the iPhone lead to the strongest pre-orders in the carrier’s history. AT&T also included the $49 iPhone 3GS activations in its total, however, so the numbers were bolstered on both sides.
Apple on Wednesday reported earnings for the second quarter of fiscal 2011. Reports from Tuesday suggesting Apple might miss iPad sales estimates were accurate as Apple reported second-quarter sales of only 4.69 units compared to 7.33 million iPads last quarter. Analyst estimates fell between 6 and 8 million iPads for the March quarter. Apple’s iPhone sold 18.65 million units globally in the second quarter compared to 8.75 million units in the same quarter last year and 16.24 million units in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. iPod sales came in at 9.02 million units, down from 10.89 million in the second fiscal quarter of 2010 and 19.45 million last quarter. Wall Street was expecting 16 million iPhones and 9.9 million iPods in the quarter. Mac sales narrowly beat the Street’s estimates of 3.6 million units, totaling 3.67 million units in the March quarter, up from 2.94 million last year and down from 4.13 million from last quarter. Revenue for the second quarter came in at $24.67 billion and Apple recorded $5.99 billion in profit, up 95% from $3.07 billion in the same quarter last year. Apple noted in its earnings call that the earthquakes in Japan will not affect Apple’s supply chain or its products in the third quarter. The company’s full press release can be seen after the break. More →
AT&T on Wednesday reported impressive first-quarter iPhone activations that hardly seemed affected by the carrier’s recent loss of iPhone exclusivity. Now, investment research firm ITG is suggesting Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4 might not even be the carrier’s top seller anymore. As reported by the New York Post, ITG claims that the 4G LTE-capable HTC ThunderBolt overtook the iPhone last month to become Verizon’s No. 1 smartphone. The Post did not report March sales figures for the ThunderBolt or the iPhone, though it did say Verizon had only sold a total of 2 million iPhone 4 units through the end of March. Apple is scheduled to report its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday, and analysts are expecting iPhone sales to total 16-17 million units. More →
RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky on Tuesday reiterated the firm’s position that sales of popular Apple products like the iPad 2 likely helped Apple record an impressive fiscal second quarter. In a note to investors, Abramsky wrote that tremendous demand for Apple’s iPad 2 tablet along with solid sales of the iPhone 4 (17 million units) and Apple’s refreshed MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks (3.6 million total Macs) may have led to $24 billion in revenue in the second quarter. The figure would represent 78% growth over the same quarter last year, and is above Wall Street’s consensus of $23 billion. RBC sees Apple having shipped 7 million iPads in the second quarter, which includes 2-3 million iPad 2 units and is down 5% from the year prior. The firm estimates 8 million third-quarter iPad shipments, and also notes that Apple will likely launch the iPhone 5 in September — but if it instead launches in June, it could add $1.2 billion to the firm’s $23-$24 billion third-quarter revenue estimates. RBC adjusted its full-year iPad sales forecast up from 25 million to 31 million units, thus pushing its fiscal 2011 revenue estimates from $99 billion to $102 billion and possibly helping Apple to cross the $100 billion milestone for the first time. Apple will report its fiscal second-quarter earnings on April 20th.
Market research firm ChangeWave on Tuesday released the findings of a recent study analyzing iPhone 4 owner experiences and owner satisfaction. The study pitted Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4 against the same model from AT&T, and sought to compare consumer experiences with the device at each carrier. Following years of complaints regarding poor service and dropped calls on AT&T, the question on everyone’s mind following the iPhone’s launch with Verizon Wireless was whether or not service quality would improve. According to ChangeWave’s findings, the answer is yes. In a survey of 4,068 customers, ChangeWave found that over the past 90 days, Verizon Wireless iPhone 4 users have dropped approximately 1.8% of calls while AT&T iPhone 4 owners dropped 4.8% of calls. Of course Verizon’s iPhone hasn’t even been on the market for 90 days and calling habits and frequency were not taken into account, so the results do become somewhat suspect. What’s more, ChangeWave notes that its survey started “several weeks after Verizon began offering the iPhone 4,” so we could be looking at just over a month of anecdotal Verizon Wireless data being compared to three months of anecdotal AT&T data. ChangeWave also found that Verizon Wireless iPhone owners are slightly more satisfied than AT&T iPhone 4 owners, with 82% saying they were very satisfied compared to 80% for AT&T. More →
BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk says HTC’s latest beastly smartphone for Verizon Wireless is going toe to toe with the iPhone 4, and is even outselling Apple’s iPhone at many Verizon Wireless store locations. Piecyk and his team made calls to 150 different Verizon Wireless stores across 22 major U.S. cities, asking which device was selling better. According to the analyst’s report, 61% of stores said the two devices were selling at about the same rate, 11% said the iPhone 4 was selling faster and 28% said they were selling more ThunderBolt smartphones than iPhones. This anecdotal evidence suggests a solid launch for Verizon Wireless, and it further supports recent data that large-screen smartphones are continuing to grow in popularity. We reviewed the HTC ThunderBolt recently and called it the fastest cell phone we’ve ever tested. More →
Look, I have been dreaming about a Verizon iPhone since the original announcement was made in 2007. I’ve always admired Verizon’s insanely solid and reliable wireless network, even before it was Verizon (someone tell James Earl Jones I said what’s up). I had the first digital phone Verizon Wireless offered (following countless analog phones prior to that), and I’ve had many more since then. But I switched away from Verizon Wireless as soon as I saw that the handsets available in Europe were becoming more advanced, because these new phones typically didn’t become available from Verizon for months or even years later, if at all. As soon as I saw that I could switch my SIM card from phone to phone myself, I was on a tear — first on T-Mobile, then AT&T when I realized how much better AT&T’s coverage was in my area, even five years ago. More →
After using the Verizon iPhone for a few weeks, something finally hit me. I have had an AT&T iPhone since the original launched, and was accustomed to typing “att” and getting a suggestion from autotext for “AT&T”. Except, this does not work on the Verizon iPhone. It’s funny because the word “Verizon” is in the AT&T iPhone’s autotext dictionary. Anyone else finding the same thing out there?
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, AT&T Mobility boss Ralph de la Vega said that iPhone users aren’t defecting to Verizon Wireless any faster than the carrier expected.”We haven’t seen any surprises, and everything is pretty much within our expectations,” de la Vega stated. Verizon Wireless finally launched its first Apple smartphone — the iPhone 4 — last month, and some analysts believed hoards of AT&T iPhone users would flock to Verizon as a result. AT&T, of course, has found itself under much scrutiny resulting the iPhone’s from poor performance on its network in several major metropolitan regions. De la Vega would not share specific numbers so in there may in fact be a mass exodus underway, but early indications do not lead us to believe that is the case. Analysts at Wells Fargo said earlier this week that AT&T is expected to lose 150,000 contract customers in the first quarter of 2011, down from the 225,000 it originally projected. More →
One of our Apple sources has just informed us that it looks like Apple has finalized the code for its upcoming iOS 4.3 release. The build, we’re told, is 8F190 for those keeping track. Maybe we’ll see this release unify the Verizon iPhone OS-wise as well? We’ll probably see this in the wild next week if we had to bet…
According to the founder of Instapaper, a popular Web and mobile service that allows users to read website content offline, the introduction of Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4 may not be pulling many new customers into the iOS ecosystem. Marco Arment speculates that sales of his popular Instapaper app are likely a good barometer for iOS device sales. Arment finds that app sales see “huge spikes” when Apple releases new iPhone handsets, thanks to the flood of new iOS customers that purchase the phone. When Verizon launched its iPhone 4 earlier this month, however, Instapaper sales were unaffected. Arment poses three possible explanations: Verizon hasn’t sold many iPhones, Verizon iPhone owners don’t purchase many apps compared to other iPhone owners, or Verizon iPhones have been sold mostly to individuals who had previously owned iOS devices and therefor are able to simply transfer previously bought apps to their new phones. He feels the third scenario is the most likely. Arment’s theory is not necessarily supported by sales data revealed exclusively by BGR earlier this month. Alongside launch-weekend sales figures from five major Apple Store locations, we revealed that only about 14% of Verizon iPhone 4 buyers had previously owned AT&T’s version of the Apple smartphone. It is worth noting that data from our exclusive report did not include sales made at Verizon Wireless store locations, however, and it also did not include buyers who had previously owned the iPad or iPod touch. More →
One of our Apple sources has shared some very sensitive information on first-week Verizon iPhone launch sales with us. It’s quite interesting — we’re being told sales are performing a little under what Apple and Verizon anticipated, and we have the data to show it. Below are unit sales totals from five Apple stores combined (including two very, very prominent Apple stores) showing both Verizon and AT&T iPhone 4 sales during the Verizon iPhone’s first five days of availability:
- Thursday: Verizon = 909, AT&T = 539
- Friday: Verizon = 916, AT&T = 680
- Saturday: Verizon = 660, AT&T = 471
- Sunday: Verizon = 796, AT&T = 701
- Monday: Verizon = 711, AT&T = 618
Additionally, we have been told that online pre-orders between Verizon and Apple amounted to around 550,000 units. We also have some statistics on who’s buying Verizon iPhones to share with you: 30% of people buying Verizon iPhones were Android users, just over 25% of people buying iPhone 4 were BlackBerry users, and only 14% of people buying the Verizon iPhone were AT&T iPhone owners. The remaining percent didn’t want to say, didn’t have a smartphone, or didn’t have a phone prior to making their iPhone 4 purchases last week.
Thanks, Lindsey S.!