Apple’s iPhone ‘shortfall’? Blame Verizon and AT&T

“A decline in smartphone sales at Verizon Wireless and AT&T is the primary culprit for iPhone sales that some on Wall Street have deemed disappointing,” Roger Cheng reports for CNET.

“That’s according to Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt, who calculated that 80 percent of the shortfall could be attributed to the two larger carriers, which sell the iPhone,” Cheng reports. “Verizon and AT&T no longer break out iPhone sales, so it’s difficult to figure out exactly how many were sold in the fourth quarter. When factoring his projections for growth, McCourt said that AT&T and Verizon likely accounted for 4 million of his estimated 5 million shortfall in iPhone sales.”

“There are a few reasons behind the lower sales, including a stricter stance from both carriers in allowing phone upgrades, with Verizon in particular extending the period before a customer can upgrade to 24 months. In general, both saw slowing growth in new customers,” Cheng reports. “McCourt said that he expects further declining sales in the US through the March quarter before things stabilize.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. No.

    The problem is stating a shortfall to begin with.

    There is no shortfall.

    Did you read that line? OK, Apple sold record numbers of iPhones.

    The only people bitching about it are analysts and stock thieves.

    1. well, it is curious that Apple didn’t sell more iPhones. If you take out Docomo and China Mobile then the number of iPhones sold May have actually dropped compared to a year ago. The overall market seems to be growing much fast than the iPhone market. This is somewhat unfair as it puts all phones into a single category. Nevertheless, it does seem that iPhone sales are weak. This has been going on for several quarters. Probably nothing will change until iPhone 6 comes out.

      1. Listen to the Apple earnings call and the have not sold any phones to China Moble before the quarter ended. That bump is still to come in this current quarter. The conference call is on iTunes podcast section you should listen to it.

        1. Even though Apple does not want to admit this, the issue is with the iphone size. Would suggest look around you to see what phones people are holding in their hand, that is all it takes.
          I personally see a lot of android phones, what can ATT and Verizon do here.
          Year to six months back folks who now have a Android large phone would not want to be seen with anything other than a iphone.
          Really silly for Apple to keep insisting 4 inch is it.
          They have allowed other phone manufacturers to catch up and move ahead of them, all it takes is a significant portion of the customers to like larger than 4 inch phones and off they go.
          Glad Apple has finally woken up and seen the writing on the wall but why did it have to be this way. Choice is a good thing let the market decide with their pocketbook instead of insisting they know best for all.

  2. Do people really not understand that tablet and smartphone sales are slowing because the markets are reaching maturity?

    Two years ago, people were switching from dumb-phones to smartphones in droves, yielding double-digit annual growth—both handset sales and dumb-pipe subscriptions.

    But, here’s a news flash! Those halcyon days are over, people. There will be no more skyrocketing revenue growth, since in the developed world, most who want smartphones already have them.

    1. “No computer company is going to just walk in and take over the phone company business after all the years we’ve spent figuring it out.”

      – AT&T, Verizon CEO joint statement

  3. Expensive Iphone will cost you more per month than say a lower cost Motorola. Apple has so far been able to maintain the premier pricing and the carriers have absorbed the cost entirely. That is changing and the user is now going to pay more. Every carrier out there prefers it this way. They don’t mind being the dumb pipe as long as they don’t have to pay the subsidized cost of the phone.

  4. There would have been no shortfall if Tim Cook had released a 5 inch iPhone this year. Obviously there is a huge market for that size phone but Cook is like a cult leader for Apple repeating endlessly Apple only makes great products and focuses only a few products. Last year he was saying 4 inches was the ideal size. Seems like he has finally woken up but a lot of the market has moved onto Android and may never come back.

  5. Have they also noted that iPhone users continue to keep older iPhones because they last longer? Maybe Android users are more often getting new ones for problem with hardware or needing a phone able to upgrade to the latest version.

    I believe the iPhone has a longer life, just like the Mac computers.

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