Activations of Apple’s popular iPhone 4 handset slowed significantly at Verizon Wireless last quarter. The nation’s No. 1 carrier reported its second-quarter earnings early Friday morning, at which time it revealed its latest iPhone numbers. Verizon Wireless activated 2.3 million iPhone 4 units in its June quarter for an average of just under 177,000 phones each week. In the first quarter, Verizon Wireless activated 2.2 million iPhones, but the device had been available for just seven weeks in the quarter. During that period, the carrier was activating an average of more than 315,000 devices each week. It stands to reason that iPhone 4 sales would slow following the device’s debut with the carrier, but this 44% drop off is a bit steep for the single most popular smartphone on the planet. AT&T announced on Thursday that it activated 3.6 million iPhones in the June quarter, but the carrier does not separate iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS activations so there is no basis for comparison.
Verizon Communications on Friday reported second-quarter earnings that topped the Street’s estimates, though it failed to match AT&T’s impressive wireless growth during the quarter. Revenue climbed to $27.5 billion in the June quarter, up 2.8% from the same quarter last year. EPS was up 6 cents sequentially to $0.57, a huge swing from the second quarter in 2010 when Verizon reported a loss of $0.42 per share. In wireless, the carrier netted 2.2 million subscribers — or “total connections,” rather — excluding gains made through acquisitions, and service revenues climbed 6.6% year-over-year. Verizon now reports total connections, which include machine to machine devices and other non-standard subscribers, and its total now sits at 106.3 million. The carrier also said that it activated 2.3 million iPhone 4 handsets in the June quarter. “In terms of earnings growth and the acceleration of revenue growth, this has been one of Verizon’s best quarters since the 2008 economic downturn,” said Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg in a statement. “We expanded sequential margins in both our wireline and wireless businesses, and in the second half of the year we expect Verizon to build on this strong, positive momentum to continue to drive profitable, sustainable growth.” The company also noted that Ivan Sandberg will step down as CEO, replaced by Lowell McAdam. Sandberg will retail is his as chairman of the board. Verizon’s full press release follows below. More →
Apple on Monday released a new build of its iOS 5 beta software to developers. The new build — iOS 5 beta 3 — is available for all applicable iOS devices including the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, Apple TV, and third and fourth-generation iPod touch devices. Apple also released the third beta of iTunes 10.5 alongside the new iOS release of course, and it will be necessary for developers to install iTunes 10.5 beta 3 in order to load the new iOS beta on their devices. Hit the break for the full change log included with this release. More →
Checks performed by Canaccord Genuity analysts T. Michael Walkley, Charles John and Matthew D. Ramsay show that Apple’s devices maintained their dominance in the U.S. market in June. The firm contacted carrier retail stores across the country to determine which smartphones were the most popular last month. At AT&T stores, Apple’s iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and the Samsung Infuse 4G were the most popular devices, as they were in May. Apple’s iPhone 4 was also the best-selling smartphone at Verizon Wireless stores again in June, followed by the Samsung DROID Charge and the HTC Thunderbolt. The brand new HTC EVO 3D topped EVO 4G and Epic 4G sales at Sprint last month, and the HTC Sensation 4G, Samsung Vibrant 4G and myTouch 4G were top-3 at T-Mobile. Canaccord found that iOS and Android showed growth in June while BlackBerry sales slid at all four carriers, and Motorola’s North American sales continued to slow as well. A chart showing Canaccord’s findings over the last six months can be seen below. More →
After carrying the popular handset for just five months, Verizon Wireless is already home to one third of iPhone 4 handsets being used in the U.S., according to analytics company Localytics. The Massachusets-based firm notes that the stat is even more impressive when considering AT&T had an eight-month head start with the popular Apple smartphone. Using data traffic from app usage as a gauge, Localytics determined that Verizon Wireless’s iPhone 4 accounted for 20% of iPhone 4 units being used in the U.S. immediately following its launch this past February. Since that time, Verizon’s share of the iPhone 4 market has grown steadily according to the firm’s data, and it now stands at 32.3%. Verizon Wireless’ apparent rapid growth with the iPhone thus far could be stunted later this year if the iPhone launches on all four major U.S. carriers as BGR speculated earlier this week, but for the time being, the device continues to sell very well for the nation’s No. 1 carrier. More →
Without as much as a peep from Verizon Wireless’ PR team, the nation’s top carrier on Thursday made the latest addition to its DROID line of smartphones available for purchase. Perhaps the silence is payback since Motorola announced the device last month in China before Verizon’s unveiling, which has historically preceded international versions of the phone. As we’ve known for quite some time, the Motorola DROID 3 features a dual-core 1GHz processor, a 4-inch qHD (960 x 540 pixels) touchscreen display, a full slide-out QWERTY keypad, an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture support, 16GB of storage and global roaming support, all atop Google’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS. The phone is available from Verizon Wireless immediately for $199.99 on contract, and you’ll have to choose one of the carrier’s new tiered data plans along with it if you’re a new customer.
UPDATE: VZW finally decided to make the DROID 3 — you know, its brand new flagship Android smartphone — official. The carrier’s full press release can now be found after the break. Of note, the phone is available immediately online but won’t be in stores until July 14th. More →
It’s funny to think that until a few months ago, Apple’s iPhone was locked to a single carrier here in the U.S. And just like that, AT&T’s exclusivity agreement expired and Verizon Wireless starting selling the device. According to public statements from Verizon Wireless and Apple, there is no CDMA exclusive on the iPhone, though the device is still not available from any other CDMA provider in the world. But I think this will change later this year when Sprint and T-Mobile USA start retailing the iPhone 5. Hit the jump for my thoughts. More →
Apple is set to finally hit the $0 on-contract mark with its entry-level iPhone 3GS once it launches the next-generation iPhone 5 later this year. In a note to investors on Wednesday, RBC Capital Markets General Manager Mike Abramsky claims Apple is expected to finally offer the phone for free in an effort to aggressively attack mid-market smartphone buyers and counter Android’s momentum. Abramsky sees this move more than doubling Apple’s global addressable market to 150 million smartphones, up from 64 million, and it will drastically accelerate Apple’s growth outside North America. In the U.S., this of course begs the question, how will Verizon Wireless stay competitive with AT&T? Apple does not currently offer a CDMA iPhone 3GS, so the carrier would be unable to match AT&T with mid-market customers. Add to that AT&T’s attractive $15 data plan option versus Verizon’s minimum $30 plan, and subscribers looking for an iPhone on a budget will really only have one place to look. Abramsky currently has an Outperform rating on Apple stock with a price target of $450.
Let’s face it… not all 4G is created equal. When Verizon Wireless’ LTE launched in its first few markets last year, bloggers and media saw blazing fast data speeds in their tests that put other 4G networks to shame. So did we. In fact, on numerous occasions and in numerous device reviews, we called Verizon’s LTE the fastest cellular data service we had ever tested. But a common sentiment rang throughout the Internet: Verizon’s 4G LTE is fast now, but that’s because the network is empty. And Verizon Wireless’ competition mirrored the opinion, of course. In a private conversation about the discrepancy in performance between Sprint’s 4G WiMAX and Verizon’s 4G LTE, a Sprint executive told me that Verizon’s network was so fast because it was empty. “Wait until it fills up,” the exec chuckled. “Then we’ll see if the ThunderBolt still deserves its name.”
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Apple will release not one, but two new iPhone models this September, Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore wrote in a note to investors on Monday. The Cupertino-based tech giant has a new iPhone 5 model lined up to replace the current iPhone 4, but it also has the rumored “iPhone 4S” in the works — a supposed modest upgrade that will maintain the same physical design as the current iPhone model. The 4S model, Whitmore believes, will launch as a $349 prepaid phone with a data plan that works much like the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G; users will be able to choose from multiple data plans and purchase them on a monthly basis without being locked into a contract. “With Nokia and RIMM struggling, the time is right for Apple to aggressively penetrate the mid range smart-phone market (i.e. $300-500 category) to dramatically expand its [total addressable market] and market share,” Whitemore wrote. More →
Verizon Wireless could be preparing to launch the third version of its popular DROID smartphone on July 14th. Android enthusiast blog Droid Attic posted what it claims to be a screenshot of an internal Best Buy inventory system. The image clearly shows an in-stock date of July 13th for the DROID 3, and the blog notes that the phone should launch one day later on the 14th. Motorola’s DROID 3 is already official in China as the Milestone 3, so it’s clearly only a matter of time before Verizon makes an announcement. And if the July 14th launch date is accurate, that announcement will likely come some time next week. Spec highlights include a 4-inch qHD display, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture support, 16GB of internal storage and a slide-out QWERTY keypad. More →
Verizon Wireless has stated on multiple occasions that it will move to usage-based smartphone data plans next month, but the carrier has been tight lipped when it comes to sharing the details surrounding the new plans. Following a report on Monday that claimed to detail Verizon Wireless’ upcoming tiered plans, they have now been reaffirmed by a new leak. Android Central claims to have received internal documents showcasing the changes, and pricing lines up exactly with earlier reports:
- 2GB – $30/month
- 4GB with tethering/mobile hotspot – $50/month
- 5GB – $50/month
- 7GB with tethering/mobile hotspot – $70/month
- 10GB – $80/month
- 12GB with tethering/mobile hotspot – $100/month
The new documents also confirm that existing smartphone customers with unlimited data plans will be able to keep those plans after the changeover date, which is said to be July 7th. Hit the break for an email on the new plans reportedly sent by Verizon Wireless to retail partners. More →
…the iPhone. BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk on Wednesday published the findings of a study in which BTIG researchers contacted 250 AT&T and Verizon Wireless retail stores to determine which smartphone model finds its way to consumers’ pockets the most. The study, which took place over the past three weeks, found that Apple’s iPhone was the best-selling smartphone at 58% of the stores polled. An Android model took top billing at 21% of the stores, and sales were neck and neck at 20% of retail shops. Breaking BTIG’s findings out by carrier, 65% of AT&T stores polled said the iPhone was their best-selling smartphone versus 31% that said an Android model was No. 1, and the iPhone was the top smartphone at 51% of Verizon shops polled. Also of note, when Verizon stores were asked about their best-selling 4G LTE smartphone model, 90% said it was the Samsung DROID Charge and just 10% said it was HTC’s ThunderBolt. The LG Revolution wasn’t included in the firm’s study. Hit the break for for charts depicting BTIG’s findings. More →