Along with announcing its financial results, Verizon also gave a hint about something that a lot of smartphone users and potential customers have been waiting for. Though it was based only on market rumors, the company’s statements further fueled speculation that the iPhone 5 from Apple will be launched this fall.
According to analysts who have been surveying the market closely, the number of customers holding back from buying a new device or upgrading has been increasing and Verizon believes this is because of the rumors that are out about a new phone in the fourth quarter. The statement was pretty vague and could be referring to the launch of the iPhone or just the fact that Verizon is looking to broaden the range of devices that it is offering to customers. However, the latter is unlikely because service providers wouldn’t want to go against the iPhone, the current market leader, especially when it is just released.
Further fueling the rumor is that network providers in both Europe and America have been stockpiling on the new nano-SIM cards that are designed by Apple. When the iPhone 4 was released, the same was done for the micro SIM cards. Moreover, Verizon feels that there will be an increasing amount of traffic shifting towards the 4G/LTE from the extensive 3G network and the company spent 23% less than it did before, in Q2 of 2012 on 3G infrastructure.
It appears that the key to Verizon’s revenues in the next quarter is going to be the subscription to new smartphones. In the previous quarter, there were 2.7mln iPhones activated and this is an increase from 2.3mln in the same quarter of the previous year. Moreover, the critical aspect here is that 25% of these customers were new to Verizon while the rest were upgrading from another phone. However, 40% were buying a smartphone for the first time and this shows the market’s growing inclination towards smartphones. Similarly, AT&T is expected to announce its quarterly results next week and it is possible that there will be a continued increase in iPhone sales and use of the 4G spectrum. Moreover, the new iPhone is likely to be released on AT&T simultaneously as the network provider is testing out nano SIMs.
Though the iPhone is the bestselling single smartphone, it appears that the Android OS has a slightly higher market share. However, most Android devices are shelved in carrier warehouses. Apple however, doesn’t seem to want to risk losing out the market to Android and is intent on keeping the iPhone 3GS in stores and will even offer the iOS 6 upgrade to it.