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AT&T activates 4.8M iPhones in March quarter, trails Verizon in customers added

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Apple's iPhone remained a hot seller on the United States' second-largest carrier, but the last quarter saw AT&T slipping further behind Verizon in terms of growth and sales.

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Reporting its earnings on Tuesday, AT&T revealed that it had activated 4.8 million iPhones in the quarter, with Apple's handset accounting for 80 percent of AT&T's 6 million total smartphones. AT&T, the original exclusive home of the iPhone in the U.S., sold more Apple phones than did rival Verizon in the quarter, but Verizon moved more overall smartphones with 7.2 million units activated.

That lag persisted across other metrics between the two carriers, as AT&T added only 296,000 new contract subscribers while Verizon added 677,000. AT&T's figure includes 365,000 customers activating tablets, and the 296,000 figure actually conceals the fact that the carrier lost 69,000 phone customers in the quarter.

AT&T's 4.8 million iPhones sold is a sharp but expected drop from the holiday quarter, which saw the carrier activating a record eight million iPhones. It is up, though, from the quarter prior to that, which saw AT&T selling 4.7 million iPhones in the wake of the iPhone 5's launch.

Also this week, Sprint reported its own results for the March quarter, revealing that it sold 1.5 million iPhones in the three-month span. While AT&T and Verizon are adding subscribers, Sprint saw a net loss, with 560,000 customers leaving the nation's third-largest wireless provider.

In all, Sprint, Verizon and AT&T accounted for a total of 10.3 million iPhones in the March quarter. That's more than a quarter of all iPhones sold by Apple during that period, as the company revealed on Tuesday it sold a record 35.1 million handsets during the same period.

During the quarter, Apple's iPhone grew at a slower rate year over year than the smartphone market as a whole, which saw 30 percent growth. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook admitted on Tuesday that he'd like to see his company do better.

"We do want to grow faster," Cook said. "We don't however, view it as the only measure of our health."
post #2 of 24
For what my opinion is worth - I'm waiting for the new phone and moving from At&T to t-mobile. like many - I was waiting for T-mobile's announcement and now the new phone.
post #3 of 24
Verizon made a smart choice when they invested in LTE early on. Their 3G speeds are slow compared to 3G from AT&T.
post #4 of 24
The drop in growth number is misleading. The iPhone 4S was the first phone to be released in the fourth quarter. The iPhone 5 was the second. Since phones prior to 4s would have provided a spike in growth in other quarters.
post #5 of 24
The figure I'm interested in is the 80% iPhone activation. Makes one wonder what all the "Android is winning" nonsense is about.
post #6 of 24
There is another way to look at the numbers.
AT&T iPhone growth y/y 12%, non-iPhone growth - 0
Verizon iPhone growth y/y 25%, non-iPhone growth - 3%
Sprint iPhone growth y/y 0, non-iPhone growth minus 3% (estimated).
post #7 of 24
brianloftus 2013/04/24 02:47pm

There is another way to look at the numbers.
AT&T iPhone growth y/y 12%, non-iPhone growth - 0
Verizon iPhone growth y/y 25%, non-iPhone growth - 3%
Sprint iPhone growth y/y 0, non-iPhone growth minus 3% (estimated).



So the 30% industry growth is from mostly international growth. Sounds like opportunity to me more than anything for aapl.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Applehawk View Post

brianloftus 2013/04/24 02:47pm

There is another way to look at the numbers.
AT&T iPhone growth y/y 12%, non-iPhone growth - 0
Verizon iPhone growth y/y 25%, non-iPhone growth - 3%
Sprint iPhone growth y/y 0, non-iPhone growth minus 3% (estimated).



So the 30% industry growth is from mostly international growth. Sounds like opportunity to me more than anything for aapl.

Exactly, and this is why investors are pushing Apple to release a lower-cost iPhone(would dilute margins but increase revenue).  Many international carriers don't subsidize handset purchases, and there is a smaller percentage of customers in developing countries willing and able to pay a premium price for an iPhone. 

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

The figure I'm interested in is the 80% iPhone activation. Makes one wonder what all the "Android is winning" nonsense is about.

How about the only 30% on Sprint?
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post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Verizon made a smart choice when they invested in LTE early on. Their 3G speeds are slow compared to 3G from AT&T.

Seems like VZW is the only one that actually gained subscribers.
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post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

The figure I'm interested in is the 80% iPhone activation. Makes one wonder what all the "Android is winning" nonsense is about.

sprint and t-mo were 100% android until recently

 

and most of the world you have to buy your phone outright, that's where android wins, at the $300 price level

post #12 of 24
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
sprint and t-mo were 100% android until recently

 

2011 is recently?

Oh, I guess so, given the whole 'two year contract' thing.

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post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

sprint and t-mo were 100% android until recently

and most of the world you have to buy your phone outright, that's where android wins, at the $300 price level

Not 100% but pretty damn close.
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post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Verizon is getting a bit too big for their britches. First they lowered data allowances and raised prices while pretending family data share was a bargain, didn't allow old unlimited plans to grandfather in unless you pay full price for your phone with no subsidies, and recently moved updates from 20 month to 24 months. They can afford to be arrogant for the time being since they have the widest coverage and largest LTE map by far. I doubt any other network will ever match Verizon in total square mile coverage, but the other networks will still be able to cover where around 90% or more of the actual population lives with LTE by the end of this year or certainly by next year. People out in the boonies might still only have a choice of Verizon or nothing but the vast majority of people will be able to have a choice between several carriers that offer fast and good coverage for their needs. 

Some families are spending nearly as much on their cell phone bills as they are on car or house payments. Something will eventually have to give and I just can't see how these carriers can continue to charge such exorbitant monthly prices and gain subscribers. 

Because people will pay more for quality. Isn't that the answer everyone on here regurgitates about Apple products so why can't it be good for someone else?
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post #15 of 24
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Something will eventually have to give and I just can't see how these carriers can continue to charge such exorbitant monthly prices and gain subscribers. 

 

What a glorious day that will be. How much longer do you think we'll have to wait?

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

What a glorious day that will be. How much longer do you think we'll have to wait?

Don't hold your breath, because it'll be no time soon.
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post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

The figure I'm interested in is the 80% iPhone activation. Makes one wonder what all the "Android is winning" nonsense is about.

 

First off, that's only on AT&T.  The rest of the world outside of the US, which is the majority of smartphone sales, leans heavily towards Android.

 

As for AT&T, activations include used models being re-activated.  

 

For example, when the 4S came out, AllThingsD and CIRP Research found that:

 

  • 79% of iPhone sales on AT&T were loyal owners upgrading (*).
  • 49% of those upgrade buyers sold/gave their old phone to someone else.
  • 87% of those old phones were likely activated by the new owner.
  • ======== therefore...
  • 33% total (87% of 49% of 79%) of sales result in a used activation

 

So for every three new iPhone 4S sold+activated on ATT, one used iPhone was also activated... or 25% of the total eventual activations

 

If the iPhone 5 followed the same pattern, then up to 1/4 of the 4.8 million activations could be used iPhones, meaning that actual new iPhone sales would probably be ~3.6 to 4 million... or 60-67%(**) of new smartphone sales, not 80%.   Still very impressive, though.

 

(*) Not unusual.  Every year it's reported that ~75% of iPhone sales at Apple stores are repeat owners.

 

(**)  9to5Mac says 67%.


Edited by KDarling - 4/24/13 at 4:17pm
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Because people will pay more for quality. Isn't that the answer everyone on here regurgitates about Apple products so why can't it be good for someone else?

Yes, except when it comes to cell carriers quality has too many variables such as location, cost, voice, data, etc. I have used everybody, and I wouldn't classify my experience with Verizon as being one of quality. I didn't notice any appreciable difference in terms of the product, and it cost more. 

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Don't hold your breath, because it'll be no time soon.

I think $50 a month for unlimited everything on T-Mobile is pretty reasonable.

post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Yes, except when it comes to cell carriersquality has too many variables such as location, cost, voice, data, etc. I have used everybody, and I wouldn't classify my experience with Verizon as being one ofquality. I didn't notice any appreciable difference in terms of the product, and it cost more. 

That's your opinion and can be said about anything. People speak with their wallets and they're saying VZW is the best choice.
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post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

The figure I'm interested in is the 80% iPhone activation. Makes one wonder what all the "Android is winning" nonsense is about.

 

That would be a little like me saying T-Mobile is 0% Apple so obviously Android is winning.

 

Apple users were forced to go to AT&T only for many years.  Android users were free to go to any carrier- AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, everyone else.  So AT&T is always going to have very iPhone skewed data.  Theres nothing wrong with that, but it helps to be aware of that when pro-Apple sites tend to cite only AT&T data or AT&T+Verizon data and try to make it sound like it represents the whole market.

 

The data usually lines up nicely despite both types of sites trying to skew headlines in their favor.  AT&T gets the biggest volume spikes when a new phone is released.  They report by far the biggest losses on subsidies (since they have the highest % Apple users).  Conversely they get the sharpest sales declines (as mentioned in article) after the existing iPhone users have raced out to buy the latest version.

 

Both Apple and Android are doing well in the US and will continue to do so.  Google is the real winner since they make money off both iPhones and Android phones (and not needing to make a $1 in hardware on either).  The bigger number to look at is growth.  The US is nearing the saturation point.  The next round of who sells more phones is going to be determined in the growth markets.

 

Note that I said who 'sells more phones' rather than who 'is winning'   If you define winning as having a great product, great ecosystem, and a lot of happy users, Apple has nothing to worry about.

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

I think $50 a month for unlimited everything on T-Mobile is pretty reasonable.

except its not unlimited everything

500MB of LTE/HSPA+ data and then its EDGE speeds

post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

I think $50 a month for unlimited everything on T-Mobile is pretty reasonable.

Unlimited everything is $70 and if you're financing a phone it's another $20.
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #24 of 24

Number of postpaid smartphone subscribers:

 

Verizon: 57.2 million

AT&T: 48.3 million

 

Verizon has 9 million more postpaid smartphone subscribers than AT&T.

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