Verizon Activates 8.8 Million Smartphones in 4Q 2013, Stops Announcing iPhone Numbers

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Verizon Wireless announced its earnings today for 4Q 2013, making it the first major U.S. carrier to release its financial statement for the quarter. But while many were hoping to get the first insight into holiday sales of the iPhone, the carrier failed to break out these numbers. This is the first time Verizon has not announced iPhone activations and is following AT&T, which also stopped reporting quarterly iPhone activations last year.

    The carrier revealed during its earning conference call that it activated 8.8 million smartphones in the quarter, down approximately 10 percent from the 9.8 million smartphones the carrier activated in 4Q 2012 but up approximately 16 percent from the previous quarter. The carrier activated 625,000 tablets in the quarter and now has 3.6 million tablets on its network.

    Verizon also confirmed it activated 9 million LTE devices in 4Q 2013 while completing its LTE deployment on its cellular network and leading the industry in 4G LTE smartphone connections. As of the end of the quarter, the carrier's 4G LTE network covers 305 million people in more than 500 markets in the U.S. Approximately 69% of the carrier's total data traffic now is transferred over LTE.

    Apple will be reporting its own earnings next week on January 27, 2014 after the close of trading, at approximately 4:30 PM Eastern / 1:30 PM Pacific. MacRumors will have full coverage of Apple's earnings release and associated conference call taking place at 5:00 PM Eastern / 2:00 PM Pacific.

    Article Link: Verizon Activates 8.8 Million Smartphones in 4Q 2013, Stops Announcing iPhone Numbers
  2. macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
  3. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2011
    I always wondered why Verizon and AT&T broke out iPhone numbers but never any other OEM numbers. Anyone know?
  4. macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    That's because they keep losing iPhone subscribers to AT&T and T-Mobile lol.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    May 7, 2011
    Because high iphone activation numbers is "validation" of a preferred/premium carrier. Not that's it's true though.


    Lol exactly.
  6. macrumors 68030


    Sep 6, 2007
    I'd guess because they felt the market wanted to know. Now I guess they want to be more multi-vendor friendly and not favor one over the other in number reports????

    Maybe Samsung and others complained that they are playing favorites???? Or, maybe the iPhone numbers are not unique enough to call out separately?
  7. macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2014
    Activation numbers

    Long time reader, first time poster...

    I personally wonder if the lack of detailed activation numbers could be related to the sheer number of iPhone activations compared to other hand sets in general for each carrier. Perhaps they don't want customers to know the majority of their activations are iPhones. This might sway more people away from the carriers money making phones with their corporate branding on them?
  8. macrumors 65816


    Nov 29, 2009
    It was always weird how carriers reported iphone activations separately and grouped everything else in another category.
  9. macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2007
    Im pretty sure there was at least 1qtr before that verizon did not break out iphone numbers. AT&T did not break them out for their July earnings report (the report was after apples ER report)

    anyways, last few qtrs iphone's where at least 50% of verizon's smartphone sales, so that points to at least 4.4m iphones sold on verizon.

    AT&T Earnings are the 28th after apple ER and sprint's are Feb 11th, Tmobile feb 25th So it looks like were not getting any iphone numbers before ER
  10. macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2009
    These carriers always reported a large percentage of iPhones being sold in the past and I never saw that as a good thing for the carrier per se (except to maybe validate a decision to compromise with Apple on some points and commit to a large number of iPhones in order to carry the iPhone). Either way, it is never a good thing for a carrier to have too many of the things it sells come form a single vendor. It simply gives that vendor more power at the negotiating table. However, Apple certainly knows how many "Verizon iPhones" they sold last quarter and now they know how many total smartphones Verizon sold. Verizon just doesn't want to boost Apple's public perception for free because it only hurts them -- same with AT&T. The carriers want leverage at the negotiating table.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2007
    My guess is that given Samsung S4's disappointing sales, the iPhone probably accounted for a record percentage of activations with the others dropping dramatically. Verizon does not want to be seen as so dependent on a single vendor.
  12. macrumors 6502


    Jan 1, 2007
    iPhone users generated more data consumption and tend to have high(er) priced data plans, which in turn generated more service EBITDA margin. a big part of valuation for carriers is operating cash-flow since the nature of their business requires them to have a very fat OPEX structure.

    debt and hard asset levels tend not to change too much for the big operators, higher EBITDA numbers generally means better EPS results unless they had some crazy one-time charges (e.g. AT&T breakup fee to T-Mobile). as a result, management team will report iPhone sales to serve as potential upside forecast guidance for industry analysts.

    Verizon likely stopped reporting iPhone sales because the US smartphone market on the top 2 carriers is nearing saturation. this implies service cash-flow will no longer be primarily influenced by iPhone adds... future service cash-flow will be driven more by the late adopters transitioning from feature phones to smartphones and new data plans.

    why only iPhone? you have the reasons stated above, also it is easier for analysts and investors to use this as a tracking product across time. you can reasonably assume given Apple's past history, there will only be one phone per year and management will report volume sold. all other OEMs have multiple releases in a fiscal year without concrete sales numbers. finally, the Android side of things gives the management team shelter to hind behind if they perform below expectations / guidance.

  13. Michael Scrip, Jan 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014

    macrumors 68030

    Mar 4, 2011
    So as long as Verizon doesn't mention it... the problem doesn't exist?

    I figured out that Verizon relies heavily on the iPhone... and I'm just a regular guy.

    No press release needed :)

    Like BC2009 said... Verizon doesn't want to give Apple any extra publicity.

    But we still know that the iPhone makes up the bulk of Verizon's smartphone sales. That fact still remains.

  14. macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2004
    Pacific Northwest
    The platform that garners the overwhelming number of purchases of app products and traffic consumption for smartphones is the one that adds the most profits to a carrier's bottom line.

    Apple is that platform.

    Not breaking out the numbers is a sign they are losing to their competitors.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    szw-mapple fan

    Jul 28, 2012
    Maybe they just sold so much that they stopped showing the numbers because showing it would seem like favouritism.
  16. macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    i moved from at&t to verizon. miss the data and voice at the same time. oh well.
  17. macrumors 68030

    Mar 4, 2011
    Do you like Verizon's network? I've been on Verizon for over a decade... it's all I've ever known.

    Yeah it's kinda expensive... but you're paying for a good network. I've never had connection problems and said "damn Verizon"

    I know lots of people today are fleeing the big carriers and running to T-Mobile because of price. But they simply don't have the same coverage.

    Of course there are good stories and bad stories about all carriers. But I've always been happy with Verizon... so I don't see a reason to leave.
  18. macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    I've actually had a lot better service than i had with AT&T, i used to not get any service at my work and now i kinda do, i also don't drop calls as often.

    price isn't an issue because my mom has her business with verizon so we get a 10% discount which is nice. i also get much more data to use and i got to add my iPad on the plan as well. and it was all cheaper than us (me,my sister and mom) on at&t
  19. macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    Device engineer 30+ yrs, touchscreens 24+.
    Verizon Android LTE phones like the Galaxy can do LTE and voice simultaneously.

    Apple left out the necessary extra parts on the iPhone, in order to "simplify the process of manufacturing the iPhone for multiple carriers", according to the NY Times.

    Even on AT&T, the iPhone doesn't do LTE and voice at the same time. It can't, for the same missing parts reason. What it does, is drop back to 3G when it needs to do them simultaneously. Can make a radical difference in data speed.
  20. macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    While it's great the Galaxy can do simultaneous voice/data, it's not enough to compensate for its shortcomings.
    While it's true AT&T has to slow down, they can still do simultaneous voice/data. Verizon phones still can't do this even at 2G. Maybe one day Verizon can convince apple to do something about it. :rolleyes:
  21. macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2013
    They have lost iPhone subscribers to AT&T and T-Mobile. :D
  22. macrumors 68030


    Perhaps they have been asked by Apple to refrain from breaking out individual sales figures in order not to steal the latter's 'thunder' at their upcoming Earnings Call.

    At any rate, as has been alluded to by some other posters, wireless service providers seemingly have more to lose than to gain from disclosing such metrics.
  23. macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    Device engineer 30+ yrs, touchscreens 24+.
    AT&T phones can't do simultaneous voice+data at 2G either.

    The upshot is, the iPhone isn't the best choice on Verizon if you want to take advantage of LTE.

    At one time, Apple did make a model just for Verizon, so anything's possible. Heck, it was Verizon's iPhone 4 model that introduced multiple antennas in the iPhone after Antennagate.

    This is one case where the old way of optimizing a device for a particular carrier can be helpful.
  24. macrumors 6502


    Mar 28, 2002
    This is a great point. Verizon doesn't want the iPhone. They only sell it because they were losing customers to the carriers with the iPhone. Verizon wants devices that they control - meaning Android devices where they can mandate carrier-specific apps on the phone. Ever notice that every Verizon commercial on TV is pushing a 2nd-tier Android phone? They make the most profit on those, so they push them aggressively. Plus, some manufacturers pay Verizon to get featured. For example, Samsung pays huge amounts of marketing money to carriers and carrier stores in order to push the Samsung devices above all others.
  25. macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    True about AT&T and 2G, but they can do voice and data and 3G and higher.
    I'm not a big Verizon fan; most of it has to do with the fact they're CDMA, which is exclusionary in that you can't move an unlocked phone to another carrier.

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