iPhones are 56% of Verizon’s Smartphone Sales in Less Than a Year
Coupled with the Nielson figures that came out the other day, the Verizon results that came out today say so, so much about what’s really going on in the market (despite the “Android is winning” crowing).
Total Verizon Smartphone Sales Q4 2011- 7.7m
iPhones - 4.3m (56%)
4G LTE Smartphones - 2.3m (30%)
All Others - 1.1m (14%)
Just think - a year ago Verizon didn’t have the iPhone, and that 56% slice wasn’t there. What were they buying before? Yes, a lot of them were dumb-phone converts - Verizon’s smartphone penetration is up to 44% versus 28% a year ago. But do the math - those numbers don’t account for 4.3 million iPhone sales coming out of nowhere.
Verizon’s churn (as they note in their results) is very low - people are loyal to the network. So, previous to the iPhone, when Verizon customers were up for a new phone, the majority that weren’t jumping ship to a lesser network (AT&T) in pursuit of an iPhone went to the Verizon store to pick out a new one. A nice Verizon Retail Associate walks them over to the newest, biggest-screened Android device and says, “it’s basically an iPhone. And it has an even bigger screen.” Customer walks out with an Android device, and Android takes a lead in market share.
The narrative above may seem a bit over-simplistic, but the fact remains - the iPhone is now available on their network, and in less than a year it represents over 50% of their smartphone sales.
I don’t know what more proof than this you need that Android’s advantage was from wide-spread distribution, not product. The years of AT&T exclusivity for the iPhone may have been necessary to get it to market originally, but now, after a year of being on the 2 biggest players in the U.S. market, we are seeing what customers want when given the choice of device and network.