updated 08:50 am EDT, Thu April 21, 2011
Verizon Q1 2011 results have few iPhone details
Verizon posted results on Thursday for its winter quarter that rode heavily on iPhone sales. It added a total of 1.8 million new customers, 906,000 of which were regular cellphone subscribers, but was propped up chiefly by 2.2 million iPhones being activated in the network. The carrier also disproved speculation that the HTC Thunderbolt was outselling the iPhone and noted that just 260,000 Thunderbolts had been activated in the two weeks the 4G phone was available.
The carrier's iPhone activations were less than AT&T's 3.6 million but still gave Apple a major lift during the quarter. It sold 18.65 million total iPhones, significantly higher than the 16 million some analysts had been predicting. A comparison to Verizon's total platform mix wasn't made available, but the number suggests the iPhone may have been Verizon's most popular by a wide margin.
No mention was made of the impact of tablets, either of the iPad 2 or of the Xoom. It's believed the iPad has been outselling the Xoom at Verizon both because of constant sell-outs but also through a much lower $630, contract-free entry price for 3G versus the $800 for Motorola's Android 3.0 hardware.
The company did stress the importance of smartphones and tablets in its results. About 32 percent of its regular subscribers were smartphone users, and data revenue was up 22.3 percent from year to year as more of its customers were opting for data plans. Turnover of old customers for new was also at a very low 1.01 percent, helping support notions that most Verizon iPhone buyers were established customers rather than converts from other networks.
Its subscriber additions were still slightly lower than predicted by industry watchers and gave reason for concern about its ability to compete should AT&T complete its merger with T-Mobile, which would give the two over 130 million subscribers. Verizon may have hope in coming months both for the addition of multiple other 4G phones as well as the possible launch of the iPhone 5 in September. Many are presumed to be waiting for a genuinely upgraded iPhone to either upgrade at Verizon or switch from another carrier.