updated 09:35 am EST, Fri February 4, 2011
Verizon says iPhone pre-sales blew past Android
The iPhone 4 has already managed the best first-day sales of any device on Verizon's network, the carrier said Friday. It took just two hours for the iPhone to become the most popular phone in an initial launch on Verizon, which sold out of pre-orders for existing users at 8:10PM Eastern on Thursday. The rush was more impressive still when considering that these orders were between 3AM and 5AM, wireless chief Dan Mead said.
He added that Verizon's staff had "worked tirelessly to strengthen and scale our systems" fully expecting the heavy hit to its website. The extra capacity still wasn't enough for some as it produced errors for some buyers. Mead wouldn't quantify the amount, but Apple rarely allows statistics unless they represent a large figure for the company as a whole, not just the carrier.
The results are only likely to magnify for the launch to the general public, which will see pre-orders start on February 9 and retail shops pick up the phone a day later. Verizon's release confirmed that some Walmart stores would have the Verizon iPhone on day one in addition to Apple, Best Buy and Verizon itself.
Apple's performance at the network both answers questions as to early adoption but also signifies potential trouble for Android at the carrier. Phones running Google's platform have triggered large first-day sales before, such as for the original Droid and the Droid X, but never to the extent of a recent iPhone launch. Sustained sales have been key to catching up with Apple in share, but it's never been clear how many of these sales are out of genuine preference for Android phones versus a simple refusal to switch to AT&T.
Motorola has already said it has seen an early slowdown in Android sales on Verizon even in the run-up to the iPhone's arrival on the network.