Jan 23

Verizon reports 63% of smart phones sold were iPhones

We will get a fuller picture of Apple’s iPhone sales when the company reports earnings later this afternoon. The Verizon numbers give us insight.

230px-Verizon-Wireless-Logo.svgAnd it’s a mixed bag for investors, though overall it’s positive for Apple.

Verizon said it sold 9.8 million smartphones, of which 6.2 million were iPhones. The rest were Android phones.

That means the iPhone represents 63% of smartphone units with Verizon. That’s the biggest mix of iPhones ever. A year ago, in the fourth quarter of 2011, the iPhone was 56% of smartphone units. (For the other three quarters this year, iPhone was 49% of Verizon’s smartphone sales.) So this represents substantial growth.

Verizon’s CFO said that almost half of the iPhones activated ran on LTE. We know that  only one iPhone model runs on LTE — the iPhone 5. This means that Apple sold 3.1 million iPhone 5s. The rest are iPhone 4s and iPhone 4Ss. Apple’s revenue and profits on those phones are smaller. There is a lot of concern about Apple’s EPS and its margin this quarter. Soft iPhone 5 sales aren’t going to do much to allay those concerns.

Also, it’s important to note that this is the U.S., where Apple is the strongest. We can’t get a good read on international iPhone sales based on one data point from Verizon.

However, overall, this is good for Apple because it shows that the iPhone franchise remains strong in the U.S.

We will know the Apple figures after the UK market close today.


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