updated 04:15 pm EST, Mon January 28, 2008
Verizon Slower than ATT
Verizon today posted its latest quarterly results, revealing mixed fortunes for the company and the potential effect of the iPhone. The American telecom firm netted about 37 cents per share and earned about $23.8 billion in net income during the last three months of 2007, representing a 5.3 percent climb compared to the same period last year. The results represent "strong growth" in "strategic" areas, according to company chief Ivan Seidenberg. However, the increase masks a slight dip in operating income of 0.6 percent and accompanying layoffs. The company's traditional landline services also saw a revenue drop of 1.4 percent.
The provider's growth also demonstrates potential long-term challenges, however. Two million additional customers signed on to Verizon Wireless during the last quarter. The figure represents 11.3 more customers than the same time last year but is substantially slower than for Verizon's chief rival AT&T, which added 2.7 million subscribers over the same period. AT&T also leads in terms of sheer numbers with 70.1 million active subscriptions versus Verizon's 65.7 million.
A large though unspecified number of the AT&T additions are believed to have their roots in the iPhone: Apple shipped an estimated 2.3 million iPhones during the fourth quarter, most of which were sold to AT&T customers. The latter firm said it had just short of two million subscribers using the handset.
Verizon's results came in spite of a large number of new handset introductions, including the release of the LG Venus and Voyager. Both handsets are media-focused touchscreen devices that are commonly regarded as direct challengers to the iPhone. The service operator has not broken down its phone sales by individual models.