According to today’s earnings announcements by Verizon Wireless, the majority of the 7.2 million new smartphone activations the network had in the first quarter were iPhones.
According to Verizon’s earnings, half of the iPhones sold to their customers last quarter were the latest generation device; the iPhone 5. That works out to be about 2 million iPhone 5s sold on just their network. The iPhone 5 is also available on AT&T, Sprint, and recently debuted to “gangbuster” sales on T-Mobile’s wireless network.
As the largest provider of wireless services for users in the United States, the fact that more than half of Verizon’s new smartphones activated were the iPhone is huge for Apple. It paints a highly different picture than most reports about the company’s market share do. Research conducting by Kantar in November showed Apple’s iPhone being out sold by Android smartphones, with 43.5% of that period’s sales going to iOS while Android held 51.2% of sales for that period. Additionally, ComScore’s MobiLens, which attempted to measure the smartphones currently being used, pegged iOS’s market share at 37.8% of all devices sold while Android held the lead at 52.3%.
That over half of these devices were the iPhone 5 also highlights how successful Apple has become at keeping sales of their older devices on track with software updates and lower pricing. This is hugely important in Apple’s fight with Android. Since Android devices are made by hardware OEMs and freely licensed by Google, the platform has a wide range of devices that are priced from $0 with a two-year service agreement to flagships that cost upwards of $199 (as in the case of the Droid DNA by HTC). Since Apple has historically only released one new iPhone a year, it relies on discounted editions of its older devices to fill out its low and mid-range options and make up the difference in market share. Currently the iPhone 4 is free on Verizon.
Allegedly, Apple is making movies to compete with cheaper Android devices head to head. Possible leaks by Tactus show the rear casing of what could be a budget friendlier iPhone. These leaks describe an iPhone with a 3.5 inch Retina Display, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, and an Apple A5 processor that currently is use in the iPad mini. Tactus also claims that this cheaper iPhone would ship in white, blue, black, red, and yellow –not all that different from what Apple did in the past when it began offering cheaper iPods in the form of the iPod mini and iPod nano.