Leaked data shows how badly Verizon needs Apple’s iPhone

Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune, “Most of the analysts who looked at the Verizon sales data that All Things Digital’s John Paczkowski published Friday picked up his story line: Thanks to Google’s Android, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry has gone, in Paczkowski’s words, ‘from a flagship to a johnboat.'”

“But Asymco’s Horace Dediu has a different take. The sales numbers, if they are to be believed, show that Google has let the carrier down,” P.E.D. reports. “Despite the explosion of Android phone sales, the iPhone has stolen Verizon’s growth and forced it to make a deal with Apple on Steve Jobs’ terms.”

Full article here.

Horace Dediu reports for asymco, “If the data is accurate, here is what I conclude:”

• The iPhone has stolen their growth
• They are facing the prospect of a single OS platform supplier
• Android is not competitive vs. iOS

Full report, with charts, here.


  1. Read this early this morning. If the data is true and assuming Verizon DOES NOT get the iPhone, Verizon would have to figure out how to escape from the event horizon of a death spiral. It goes to show that (1) the iPhone is much more disruptive than originally thought and (2) Android is a pipe dream that is nothing more than a race to the bottom. The bonus takeaway is that this shows how influential and powerful a company Apple is. Steve Jobs and his team are not to be taken lightly.

  2. Verizon better hope that they can get the iPhone in 2011. If not, they become Carrier number 2. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. Sorry, Android is a worthy competitor, as long as they are able to steal the multi-touch technology Apple has under patent.

    If that changes and Apple is successful in defending their patents, then maybe we have something to talk about, but as of right now, there are some good android phones and apps out there that are very iPhone like and capable.

  4. You all are dreaming. That fact of the matter is that AT&T’s monopolistic pricing schemes and slow 3G service will motivate people to other providers even though the iPhone is a superior product. Apple’s customer service is excellent and AT&T’s is run by a bunch of Ma Bell era jerks. It is the under estimation of AT&T’s inability to compete that is missing from all these types of analysis.

    just my $0.02

  5. Ray

    I have NEVER had a problem with ATT customer service.
    I have a Verizon business phone and several friends in Texas who use Verizon with spotty coverage and horrible price schemes.

    I do not even understand what you mean by “AT&T’s is run by a bunch of Ma Bell era jerks”.

    It is Verizon’s overblown reputation that is missing from most analysis.
    Being good on the coasts does not make you the best everywhere.

  6. “Android is not competitive vs. iOS”

    Android is a great platform. In fact, 4 years ago I would have been drooling to get an android phone. The only problem is, it’s not 4 years ago, and iOS exists. iOS makes Android look like a poorly executed copy cat OS.

    Android will continue to have a good chunk of the smart phone market, but the consumer satisfaction surveys all show Android users aren’t as happy as iOS users. So, more people will defect from Android to iOS than vice versa.

    I expect many people are told by the salesman at Verizon/TMobile/Sprint/etc that the “Android phones can do everything the iPhone can do”. These buyers soon learn their new phone really can’t do everything their friend’s iPhones can do. Once the other carriers have the iPhone, it’s only a matter of time before a large chuck of the Android market migrates over to the iPhone.

  7. Android devices will undoubtedly continue to sell in large quantities, even when the iPhone expands beyond AT&T in the U.S. But it will be very interesting to observe the impact that the iPhone has when it finally makes it to Verizon…very interesting, indeed.

  8. I updated the original article: ITG sent an explanation of their methodology and there is no indication that the data represents inside information.

    It is “based largely on our proprietary daily point-of-sale data from thousands of independent wireless retailers across the US.”

  9. I can’t speak to Verizon’s customer service. I’ve tried one of their phones briefly several years ago. I spent several years with T-Mobile then switched to AT&T. In four years or so with AT&T, I have not had poor customer service experience. Not a single time. Now, I have had dropped calls since adopting the first generation iPhone. I am one person not planning to switch to Verizon. But it’s nice to have the option.

  10. I agree with Vatdoro that Android is a valid competitor to iOS. It’s really gaining traction; however, because people can’t get an iPhone on Verizon, Sprint or ATT. If they held them side-by-side, and network choice was not a factor, people would choose the iPhone almost every time (except for those who really want a physical keyboard).

    I held an HTC phone this weekend that a friend of mine owns. The screen was horrible, even compared to my 3GS. It felt cheap, and the design of the Android display was not sophisticated. I can’t see how someone would choose an Android phone if the cost and the network was the same as an iPhone.

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