Verizon sells 4.3 million iPhones in holiday quarter; posts loss on pension charge

“Verizon paid dearly to put iPhones in the hands of subscribers in the latest quarter, holding back its profits in the hope that its customers will rack up higher monthly bills and stay loyal,” Peter Svensson reports for The Associated Press.

“The quarter saw the launch of the iPhone 4S, the second model to be sold by Verizon, and it was clear that many had been waiting for it,” Svensson reports. “Verizon sold 4.3 million of them, and 7.7 million smartphones total.”

“Verizon Wireless subsidizes each smartphone by hundreds of dollars, figuring that it will make the money back in service fees over a two-year contract,” Svensson reports. “That means the wireless division, though still highly profitable, posted a rare drop in operating income for the fourth quarter.”

Read more in the full article here.

Brian X. Chen reports for The New York Times, “The loss was primarily because of the impact of previously announced noncash pension charges, the company said. The company said that revenue climbed 7.7 percent, to $28.4 billion in the quarter, from $26.4 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.”

Chen reports, “Adjusted for the pension charges, the per-share income was 52 cents, just below the expectations of Wall Street analysts of 53 cents a share. Revenue was right in line with forecasts, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. So iPhones were 56% of all of Verizon’s smartphone sales. AT&T and Sprint probably have similar picture.

    T-Mobile, obviously, not, so real picture in USA is close to what NPD reported (about 45% share).

    Too bad iPhone 4S was not available in many key markets most of Q4 or even at all. If it was, then these crazy 33-38 million sales prospects could be more real. But now with these limitations sales could be only about 25-30 million.

      1. Where is “FUD”? Markts with billions of people could not buy iPhone 4S even if they wanted, so sales in these regions continued pattern of Q3, when Apple sold 17 million globally.

        So I simply try to be realistic.

    1. Interesting point….
      The article says Verizon sold 4.3 Million iPhone 4S’s. No mention is made of how much of the remaining 3.4 million smart phones sold were iPhone 4’s, so the percentage of iPhones sold (4+4S) may well be much higher than 56% (which is just the % of 4S/total smart phones)
      Could the (normally apple hating) tech press be trying to soften just how devastating well the iPhone actually did in the holiday quarter?

  2. Today Apple will report is Q4 2011 figures. A lot of speculation is going on about the number of iPhones sold. Verizon with 4,4 million and – if I remember well – ATT with 6 million add up to more than 10 million in the US + plus an estimated 2-3 million for Sprint.

    I am looking for more than 32 million iPhones global sales in Q4 2011. Tonight we will know precisely …

  3. This is even more fun when you speculate with the prices. Let’s say that iPhone 4S costs $600 and average Android phone $200. Do the math and you get whopping 80% of the revenue.
    Of course we don’t know the figures exactly, but this just demonstrates that Apple just created a vacuum and sucked the money out of the bag. 😀

    1. Actually, your speculation is incorrect. iPhone 4S starts at $650 (check Apple’s own web site for the pricing of unlocked model). Comparable flagship Android devices start at $550-600 (check various independent online retailers of unlocked phones).

      The cheapest iPhone (3GS) costs approximately $450 retail (unsubsidised). Of course, for that money, you can get five Android phones, where the cheapest new, current model unsubsidised Android device (ZTE, or Huawei) can be had for less than $100.

      1. Sorry. I use Euros, so I did not check the US prices. But lets asume that the ASP is $750. Verizon does not have iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4, so it is all iPhone 4S’s because of their network. I have sold lot’s of Android phones and I know from that experience that it is those cheaper Android phones that are popular, so it is safe to asume that ASP for those is $200. My speculation indeed is very close to reality. Even if you up the ASP for Android phones to $300 you can easily see who is the big winner. We know that these Android manufacturers have very low ASP’s down from last year.

  4. Interesting. No iPhone 3S on Verizon and iPhone sales still flew past Android sales. Proof that if given the choice, people will choose the iPhone over Android.

    iPhone 4S was the fastest launch by Apple with more carriers involved than ever. My guess is over 35M iPhones sold this Qtr.

  5. 4.3 million lemmings for a 3.5″ screen that’s way, way too small to be even considered functional in today’s smartphone world. 4.5″ at least really to be in with the Joneses so to speak.

    Evolve or die RIM’s slow plunge into the toilet.

    1. Hehe… See C1, I knew BLN would make you sorry you ever came to his defense.

      Dude, you are just completely clueless; go buy a dell streak, they have a really big screen.

    2. Yeah man, the tech companies have benn struggling to make gadgets bigger for decades… Oh.. Ah.. I mean what?

      I’m wish I had one of these big ass phones that bulge my pants, cause I have a teeny weenie!

    3. It’s said that the continual whining noise made by black flies in Canada during the summer has bend known to drive strong men insane.
      It’s also said that the continual incessant whining noise made BLN about the iPhone screen has been known to drive strong men to commit homicide.
      Certainly I would be more than happy to put a Glock 9mm to the back of his head and pull the trigger. I’m not sure that any jury would convict me, either.
      BLN, please, in the name of all that’s Holy; SHUT THE FUCK UP!

    4. BLN, I am so sorry that a 3.5″ screen killed your dad. That day must have been very traumatic for you. That being said, do you think you can find your way to not taking it out on us?


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