AT&T activated 1.3M more iPhones than rival Verizon in Q2 2011

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Bolstered by remaining exclusivity with the $49 entry-level iPhone 3GS, AT&T activated 1.3 million more iPhones than Verizon in the second quarter of calendar 2011.



Verizon reported its latest quarterly earnings on Friday, in which the nation's largest wireless carrier disclosed that it activated 2.3 million iPhone 4 units during the three-month span. Those sales helped smartphone penetration grow to 36 percent, up from 32 percent in the last quarter and 21 percent a year ago.



But Verizon was bested by rival AT&T, which posted its own second-quarter earnings earlier this week. AT&T characterized the iPhone as "strong," and revealed that a total of 3.6 million activations occurred during the quarter.



Of the iPhones activated on AT&T last quarter, 24 percent were subscribers new to the carrier. AT&T also said that iPhone subscriber churn was down slightly sequentially.



AT&T's 1.3 million activation lead over Verizon was no doubt bolstered by the fact that only AT&T has access to the GSM-only iPhone 3GS, which sells for just $49 with a two-year contract.



Verizon's activations represent only the iPhone 4, which sells for $199 and $299 on contract. AT&T did not provide a breakdown of how many iPhone 3GS units it activated in the last quarter, so it is unknown how the two carriers compared in terms of iPhone 4 activations.



Apple and AT&T had an exclusive agreement for the iPhone in the U.S. since the company's first handset launched in 2007. But that changed this year, when Apple and Verizon inked a deal to sell the iPhone. A CDMA variant of the iPhone 4 went on sale to Verizon customers in February.



Earlier this year, one Wall Street analyst revealed that Apple's older iOS-based products, including the iPhone 3GS, remain top sellers years after their debut. Citing checks with U.S. retail channels, Canaccord Genuity technology analyst Michael Walkley found "strong demand" for the iPhone 3GS at AT&T.



"These older generation products with reduced prices often outsold new Android products," Walkley said in May.



The iPhone 3GS, first released in 2009, was not updated to become compatible with Verizon's CDMA network. The current hardware can only run on AT&T's network in the U.S.







The continuing popularity of the iPhone 3GS has led to rumors that Apple will continue to make the handset available for sale, even after the anticipated introduction of a fifth-generation iPhone later this year. Mike Abramsky with RBC Capital Markets said in June that Apple is expected to offer the iPhone 3GS for free with a two-year contract when a so-called "iPhone 5" launches later this year.



In addition, Abramsky said he could see Apple offering a lower-priced iPhone 3GS offered for $399 unsubsidized. This would help to increase Apple's smartphone share globally, particularly in emerging markets where prepaid service models are the norm.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    • iPhone users are a bit smarter than your average smartphone user.

    • Verizon costs more.

    • AT&T is faster.

    • AT&T offers concurrent voice and data.

    • AT&T's global footprint is far larger (which also makes the future reselling of your iPhone that much easier)

  • Reply 2 of 33
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,194member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post
    • iPhone users are a bit smarter than your average smartphone user.

    • Verizon costs more.

    • AT&T is faster.

    • AT&T offers concurrent voice and data.

    • AT&T's global footprint is far larger (which also makes the future reselling of your iPhone that much easier)




    Don't forget Rollover Minutes. Verizon continues to not provide such a mechanism. I never use all my minutes.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    rbonnerrbonner Posts: 635member
    All that hype and hating on AT&T, and at the end of the day, people stay.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,805member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post


    [LIST][*]iPhone users are a bit smarter than your average smartphone user.



    Really? Obviously an opinion of yours with no supporting data. The "I'm superior, smarter and richer because I buy Apple" statements that are sometimes made by Apple fanatics is a turn off for a lot of people, even Apple users.



    Back to the article itself, I've been curious what percentage of those iPhone sales at ATT are for the older 3GS at $49. As much as 50%? Only 10%? Has anyone seen any breakdown anywhere with actual numbers or is it just something they don't reveal?
  • Reply 5 of 33
    jerseymacjerseymac Posts: 408member
    Before all the fist pumping for AT&T gets out of hand, let me say I'm grateful Apple went multi carrier and gave people the choice of the best carrier in their area. iCloud is going to be pretty useless if you don't have a signal. And no carrier is everywhere.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbonner View Post


    All that hype and hating on AT&T, and at the end of the day, people stay.



    Because it's $320 to leave. They're still not happy with their service, they just can't afford anything else.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbonner View Post


    All that hype and hating on AT&T, and at the end of the day, people stay.



    A quarter of people that bought iPhones on AT&T were new users that probably bought cheap 3GSs.



    As far as iPhone 4 sales I'd say that both networks are probably equal. We'll see what happens when both networks have equal amounts of low cost iPhone options, possibly in the form of a discounted iPhone 4 or in the form of a new iPhone Lite type device.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Back to the article itself, I've been curious what percentage of those iPhone sales at ATT are for the older 3GS at $49. As much as 50%? Only 10%? Has anyone seen any breakdown anywhere with actual numbers or is it just something they don't reveal?



    I would assume that the number could be greater than 50%. The 3GS is still the number 2 selling smartphone in the nation, and it's only available on 1 network, meaning that the 3GS is probably a high percent of AT&T's iPhone sales.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    dbikerdbiker Posts: 8member
    If VZW really wanted high sales figures for the iPhone 4, then discontinuing the unlimited 3g data plan was a pretty dumb move.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dbiker View Post


    If VZW really wanted high sales figures for the iPhone 4, then discontinuing the unlimited 3g data plan was a pretty dumb move.



    Collusion with the other carriers doesn't allow for exceptions for a single phone model. Sorry.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Because it's $320 to leave. They're still not happy with their service, they just can't afford anything else.



    Correction, $320 to leave AND another $200 to buy an subsidized IP4 from Verizon.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    I'm curious what the numbers for smartphone activations in general are. Att pretty much only has the iphone but Verizon has a variety of android phones that are quite popular.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    maguromaguro Posts: 65member
    "AT&T also said that iPhone subscriber church was down slightly sequentially."



    What is an iPhone subscriber church? Is there one near my house? Are offerings tax deductible?
  • Reply 14 of 33
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maguro View Post


    "AT&T also said that iPhone subscriber church was down slightly sequentially."



    What is an iPhone subscriber church? Is there one near my house? Are offerings tax deductible?



    The subscriber church is where we go to worship the Jesus phone.



  • Reply 15 of 33
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

    • iPhone users are a bit smarter than your average smartphone user.

    • Verizon costs more.

    • AT&T is faster.

    • AT&T offers concurrent voice and data.

    • AT&T's global footprint is far larger (which also makes the future reselling of your iPhone that much easier)




    34% of iPhone users think their iPhone already has 4G service. This compares to 29% of Android users and 24% of Blackberry users.



    http://mashable.com/2011/07/14/4g-confusion-study/



    If you are going to use a list of points to make an arguement, it's usually best to not lead off with one that is so easily shown to be false.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post
    • iPhone users are a bit smarter than your average smartphone user.

    • Verizon costs more.

    • AT&T is faster.

    • AT&T offers concurrent voice and data.

    • AT&T's global footprint is far larger (which also makes the future reselling of your iPhone that much easier)




    How are you defining Smarter?



    Yes it does, but I've not heard many complaints about the service they offer, just the cost.



    ATT is faster? Nope sorry, come back to reality, Verizon is the current mobile phone speed king with their LTE network.



    LTE is a GSM technology, The HTC thunderbolt does Voice and Data at the same time on Verizon's network both 3G and 4G if I;m not mistaken. The charge and others are only over LTE.



    What is ATT's Global footprint? Because Vodafone's operates in serves last time I checked 341million subscribers, operates in 30 countries and has partner networks in 40 others...
  • Reply 17 of 33
    I suspect (but purely speculating) that there are several reasons for the increased subscriptions at ATT v VZW:



    1. 3GS. Surprising number of 3GS buyers out there. These are AT&T only of course.

    2. LTE. Some buyers going into a VZW store will elect to pick up a 4G phone.

    3. October contract change. Good number of potential VZW subscribers got locked into new ATT contracts when ATT eased new phone upgrade rules to get ahead of VZW iPhone.

    4. iPhone 5/4S. Lots of people on the fence either way, waiting for new phones in the fall and to see if there are any material differences in rate plans, hardware.

    5. Intl. Fair number of people need GSM compatibility for travel and so AT&T.

    6. Advertising. I thought there was more "we're better" advertising from AT&T than there was from VZW regarding the iPhone. VZW advertised iPhone availability heavily but with less emphasis vs. ATT's offering. Data+Voice simultaneously stood out as an easily illustrated difference.



    Assuming we get a new chip that can handle CDMA and GSM on the next phone, we'll see 1, 3, 4, and 5 fade away over time. Once LTE is in place at both carriers, 2 and 6 should drop away. And then we'll get a clearer picture of AT&T v VZW.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Don't forget Rollover Minutes. Verizon continues to not provide such a mechanism. I never use all my minutes.



    Well if you never use all of your minutes then what do you need rollover for?
  • Reply 19 of 33
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rare comment View Post


    I suspect (but purely speculating) that there are several reasons for the increased subscriptions at ATT v VZW:



    All good reasons, to which I think we should add 'stickiness'. Lots of people renewing on Verizon already use Android and are happy with it. Many of AT&Ts iPhone sales will be repeats. As the iPhone offerings on Verizon improve and the other reasons you list fade we'll get a better idea of just how sticky Android is as a platform.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,805member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MarquisMark View Post


    I'm curious what the numbers for smartphone activations in general are. Att pretty much only has the iphone but Verizon has a variety of android phones that are quite popular.



    According to ATT, their Android smartphone sales have doubled over the same period.
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