Verizon isn’t just selling Droids these days, they are still making an effort to sell some iPhones on their talk network reputation. AT&T has seen much less churn than was expected when it lost its exclusivity. We hope to see more entertaining back and forth as we ease into the holidays. Read more
In addition to the big three (AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint) as well as regional carrier C Spire which has begun selling iPhone 4S today, Apple’s new handset is now available from Claro Puerto Rico, the largest Puerto Rican telecommunications services company. The Guaynabo, Puerto Rico-headquartered wireless operator hosts a million US customers in Puerto Rico (yes, it is a U.S. territory, U.S. dollars, U.S. citizenry) which makes it slightly bigger than C-Spire by subscribers.
Claro is the largest mobile phone network in the Americas. It is part of the Mexican telecom group América Móvil which is one of the four largest mobile phone network operators in the world, with more than 200 million customers.
What’s interesting about their offering is that Claro will be offering the 16GB iPhone 4S for just $99.99 with a standard two-year contact, quite possibly the lowest subsidized price in the United States. The 16GB/32GB version is a $199/$299 value with a two-year contract. Customers can choose between four plans costing $64.98, $74.98, $79.98 and $84.98 a month. All plans include unlimited minutes and text messages and 250MB/2GB/5GB/unlimited data.
They are also offering no-contract iPhone 4S for $669.99/$769.99/$869.99 for the 16/32/64GB version, which is a $20 premium from Apple’s online store, which began accepting orders for the unlocked iPhone 4S this morning. Claro is offering both the 16GB iPhone 4S subsidized and non-subsidized beginning today, with 32GB and 64GB capacities “coming soon”.
Claro is also offering the 8GB iPhone 4 for $49.99 ($569.99 contract-free).
According to Localytics, AT&T continues to be the dominant iPhone carrier in the US, even with the Verizon entering the market strongly last year, grabbing 40% of the users in half the time.
As the 4S was launched on Sprint as well with truly unlimited data plans, one would have thought more of AT&T’s marketshare would have been diminished. However, it appears that sprint is taking more away from Verizon.
Sprint’s share of the 4S market now stands at 12% according to the figures. AT&T, though coverage is spotty in urban areas like New York and San Francisco, does have a significant speed advantage over Sprint and Verizon’s 3G as well as the ability to talk and use data at the same time.
Looking at iPhone 4 distribution as a comparison, Sprint seems to have eroded more of Verizon’s market share than AT&T’s – of the previous-generation handset, 60% are on AT&T versus 40% on Verizon.
A likely driver for these differences is the fact that AT&T can mine its existing base of iPhone users. Because all Verizon iPhone users are in the first year of their wireless contract, the cost of upgrading will be high. However, many longer-term AT&T users, especially those holding iPhone 3GS and earlier devices, are off-contract or nearing the end of their contract. AT&T has been aggressively leveraging the iPhone 4S to sign these customers to new two-year contracts, and the data in this study suggests that tactic may be working.
That data strongly lines up with our poll which we’ve been tracking since before the iPhone 4S launch…
AT&T just issued a press release saying they activated one million iPhone 4S units, or one-quarter of the four million devices Apple sold during the launch weekend. It’s the most successful launch in AT&T’s history, the company wrote in the release:
AT&T today announced it activated more than 1 million iPhone 4S’ as of Tuesday, making it the most successful iPhone launch in the company’s history. AT&T was the first carrier in the world to launch iPhone in 2007 and is the only U.S. carrier to support iPhone 4S with 4G speeds. “It’s no surprise that customers are clamoring for iPhone 4S and they want it to run on a network that lets them download twice as fast as competitors’,” said Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO, AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets. AT&T’s speed advantage, and the unique ability to talk and surf at the same time, has been roundly praised by industry pundits.
About those “4G speeds”…
AT&T is reportedly pushing Apple to put a “4G” cellular icon on iPhone 4S to represent its faster Internet connection, which theoretically hits 3G HSPA 14.4 Mbps speeds (lawmakers wouldn’t approve of that). The carrier also released a customer testimonial video, included above, with people explaining why they opted for an iPhone 4S on the AT&T network (hint: because it’s “super-fast”).
Shawn Blanc (viaThe Next Web) calculated this morning that Apple is selling 16 iPhone 4Ss a second, or roughly 1,000 a minute. Blanc’s figuring comes after Apple announced this morning that there were 4 million iPhone 4Ss sold its opening three-day weekend. Figures are also expected to expand as the iPhone 4S is introduced in 22 more countries on the 24th.
Reaching this milestone, Apple is on tract to pass Microsoft’s Kinect as the fastest selling consumer device of all time. Microsoft sold 8 million Kinects in the first 60 days, a number Apple could theoretically pass in the first two weeks.
The success of the iPhone 4S is most likely helped by a few factors:
The availability on three U.S. carriers: AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. AT&T and Sprint both announced opening day sales records on Friday. The iPhone 4 was only on AT&T in the US its opening day.
iPhone 4 was released in 5 countries. iPhone 4S was also available in Canada and Australia in addition.
iPhone 4 saw serious product shortages while it appears that Apple made plenty of iPhone 4Ss (OK, maybe not)
There was a longer than normal wait time between the iPhone 4 and 4S (15 months)
iPhone 4S is amazing.
We’re sure to hear more in Apple’s FYQ4 earnings call tomorrow afternoon.
If you’re trying to make your iPhone 4S buying decision based on network speeds, here’s a helpful comparison video (above). The test shows the loading of websites and also runs the speed test application on all three networks.
Remember, this was done at one fixed location so you’re mileage most certainly will vary.