updated 06:25 pm EDT, Fri October 14, 2011
Sprint, ATT both confirm record iPhone results
Both AT&T and Sprint in video (below) and statements revealed that the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 launches provided record-setting sales. Apple's launch not only set the record for a device family's sales across all of Sprint's outlets but did so by 1PM Eastern, with several hours still left to go. No numbers were given, but Product Chief Fared Adib credited it to the carrier being the only one still offering a unlimited data plan for the iPhone.
"The response to this device by current and new customers has surpassed our expectations," he said.
AT&T, meanwhile, said that it had already hit a record number of activations as of 4:30PM Eastern. The company estimated that it would double its previous record for phone activations on a single day. As with Sprint, it declined to give exact numbers.
Verizon had yet to weigh in with its own performance.
The figures suggest better results than expected. At AT&T, it may reflect the larger existing iPhone user base as well as the faster 3G speeds for data-heavy users.
Sprint's results, however, may point to a repeat of the conditions at Verizon, where the iPhone 4's release in February saw it almost immediately eclipse Android and become the most popular platform at the carrier. The last known one-day sales record at Sprint was set by the launch of the HTC Evo 4G in June 2010; the Evo 3D launched quietly despite being pitched as a direct successor to the 4G.
Long-term sales may determine whether or not Sprint stays successful. However, it points to possible trouble for Google. The mobile OS designer was once focused heavily on Verizon but quickly shifted its focus to Sprint after the iPhone arrived and reduced Android's importance. If Sprint becomes an iPhone-first carrier like AT&T and Verizon, Google may be back to having just T-Mobile as its primary supporter, and then only if AT&T doesn't complete its buyout of the smaller carrier.