iPhone Represents 55% of Verizon's 4Q 2011 Smartphone Sales
Earlier this month, Verizon Wireless Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo noted that the carrier had activated 4.2 million iPhones during the fourth quarter of 2011, more than doubling the previous quarter's sales on the momentum of the iPhone 4S launch and potentially signaling a blockbuster quarter for Apple in the iPhone market.
Verizon today officially announced its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2011, revealing in a conference call that the company actually activated 4.3 million iPhones during the quarter. With the carrier reporting total smartphone sales of 7.7 million units, the iPhone represented approximately 55% of the carrier's smartphone sales for the quarter.
Verizon wireless profit margins and net growth in retail customers
Smartphones now account for 44% of Verizon's postpaid customer phone base, up from 39% in the previous quarter. That strong growth in smartphones such as the iPhone significantly reduced the carrier's margins in its wireless business during the quarter as absorbed the heavy upfront subsidies paid to manufacturers for the devices. Verizon will recover those costs over the length of customers' contracts, making carriers willing to take short term hits to profitability to lock in smartphone customers on lucrative service contracts.