Strong iPhone Sales at Verizon (and AT&T)

One last bit for the day on this “iPhone 5 demand is lower than expected” thing. Last week, Verizon made a preliminary announcement on its holiday quarter:

Verizon this morning said in a filing with the SEC that its Verizon Wireless unit expects to report Q4 retail postpaid subscriber net adds of 2.1 million, with 9.8 million smartphone activations, and “a higher mix of Apple smartphones”.

Now, it’s possible that:

  • The iPhone 4S could be cannibalizing iPhone 5 sales. Verizon said “Apple smartphones”, not the iPhone 5 in particular. It’s possible that “iPhone” sales are up but that iPhone 5 sales are disappointing.
  • Verizon could be an outlier. Seems unlikely, given how hard Verizon pushes its own Droid-branded phones.
  • AT&T is reporting “best-ever quarterly sales of Android and Apple smartphones”, so maybe it’s the U.S. that’s the outlier, and iPhone demand is weak elsewhere around the world.

But I don’t think any of the above are likely. Keep in mind that Verizon’s statement is in a legally binding filing with the SEC. The WSJ’s report of “weaker-than-expected demand” for the iPhone 5 was from “people familiar with the situation”.

Monday, 14 January 2013