Originally Posted by cgc0202
First: I have no interest with a Verizon iPhone, even if Apple manufactures one for them. I did not have a very good experience with their customer service.
Same here. But I know several people who just won't leave Verizon but who eagerly want an iPhone.
Now, as to the growth rate data provided here for the iPhone, the data reflected a tremendous expansion worldwide, the past two years. Has someone standardized the growth rate, once the tremendous increase in the potential customer base worldwide is factored in the equation?
Such a number looks like it could be useful, but there are so many variables in discussing the potential customer base worldwide. For example, Apple just sold about 1.2-1.5m iPhones into China Unicom's 160m+ subscriber base in its first 2 quarters, which is about half as successful as Apple selling 1.3m iPhones to AT&T's 80m subscriber base in its first 2quarters in 2007. But what portion of that subscriber base is looking to buy any smartphone?
In regard data pertinent to the US only, I have not seen any long term comparative study of the customer base of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile -- before and after the iPhone was introduced. Sprint has been losing customers, like crazy, even before teh iPhone was even introduced. Where was the additional AT&T customer base coming from to account for this growth? Were they all largely from Verizon or from the bleedsing customer base of Sprint? or T-Mobile?
AT&T and Verizon have each added about 12-13m net postpaid subscribers since 1Q07 (not including purchases like Alltel). Sprint has lost 8m postpaid subscribers, which I think is a faster rate than before iPhone was introduced, though I think Sprint's 2008 customer service fiasco is mostly to blame. Verizon has 82m postpaid subscribers, AT&T 65m, and Sprint 33m. (I have spotty T-Mobile numbers.)
AT&T and Verizon postpaid churn is about 1.1. Sprint and T-Mobile over 2. AT&T's is lower by about 15-20% since iPhone, Verizon's higher by about 20%, Sprint and T-Mobile lower by about 5-10%. So people are continuing to switch. But the penetration rate for cellphones has gone (or is about to go) over 100% in the US - meaning that many people have more than one subscription, and likely more than one phone.
For the AT&T data itself, if the iPhone data shows a linear growth rate already, rather than a accelerating growth rate, then we expect the next stage to be the deceleration phase. Or, does anyone really think that the iPhone growth rate in the US will remain linear "forever", if Apple sticks exclusively with AT&T?
Approximately 3.5m iPhone activations in year 1, 8.3m in year 2, 9m so far in 9 mos of year 3 (maybe another 2-3m in this quarter depending on the launch date for iPhone 4th Gen). Since some are upgrades of previous iPhones, I estimate about 15-17m AT&T subcribers are using iPhone; around 20-25% of AT&T postpaid subscribers. I think it's slowing, but cellphones are replaced every 18-24 mos. So AT&T may look saturated, but the 8m from year 2 are primed for upgrades. And of course, many who have not yet bought smartphones are also beginning to do so. Canalys estimates 65m will buy smartphones in North America in 2010 (47m bought smartphones in 2009).
I'll have to address the rest of your post later. Gotta go.