Verizon has just reported their results for the third quarter, with smartphone sales topping 7.6 million units. While the press release does not disclose details about iPhone performance, on Verizon’s conference call, the company announced that iPhones were responsible for just over half of all Verizon’s smartphone activations, compared to about 43% in Q2. It is important to remember the distinction between activations and sales, with activations including passed-down devices to spouses or children as well as the strong iPhone reseller market.
The iPhone has long been the best-selling phone on AT&T, but the Samsung Galaxy S4 has for some time held that slot at Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, with the iPhone 5 in second place. No more. September sales figures from Canaccord (reported in Fortune) show that the iPhone 5s now has top billing on all four major U.S. carriers, with the iPhone 5c also beating Samsung on AT&T and Sprint. While the news isn’t unexpected, the numbers do seem to put the lie to one rumor … Read more
While it appears there will not be any preorders available for the iPhone 5s, many retailers and carriers are announcing their iPhone 5c pre-order plans. Starting tonight at 12:01 am Pacific Time tonight, you’ll be able to place your pre-order directly with Apple and have it delivered right to your door on the 20th – as long as you’re able to beat out the other customers (potentially millions) to the punch.
As a result, it may be better to work out a pre-order with a carrier or retailer as the demand could be much more sporadic, as it has been in past years. On the other hand, these outlets usually receive less stock and Apple supplies their own stores more quickly than they do for third-parties. We’ll be watching the shipping times as these pre-orders roll out so check back frequently.
Below you will find all of the current announcements, but you should definitely also take a look at how to get the most money for your current iPhone:
Walmart has announced that it will be offering both of the new iPhone models in their 16Gb versions, the 5c at $79 (a $20 saving) and the 5s at $189 (a $10 savings). Walmart offers the phones on Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.
What’s interesting here is that Apple Stores usually do price matching so it might be worth a try after waiting on line on launch day. Best Buy will also price match often, so this could trigger markdowns all over … Read more
Update: A bunch more cases have been added below.
It’s widely expected that Apple will announce the 5C (along with the iPhone 5S) on 10th September, and that it will go on sale on the 20th. Both T-Mobile and Verizon have blocked employee vacations around this date.
The photos as posted were rather small – we’ve enlarged them to give a better look … Read more
Following stats from comScore late last month for smartphone market share by vendor and OS, research firm Kantar Worldpanel is out today with its own numbers for the three month period ending in May. While Kantar puts Android at the same 52% of the market during May as comScore, it has Apple slightly higher at 41.9% of the market (up 3.5% from the same period last year) compared to the 39% comScore reported:
Through the 3 month period ending May 2013, Android continues to lead smartphone sales at 52%. Close behind is iOS with 41.9% of sales.
Kantar notes that Apple’s increase is thanks to T-Mobile picking up the iPhone 5, which is now the best selling smartphone at the carrier despite only being available since mid April. Thanks to iPhone, T-Mobile could soon increase its share of smartphone sales in the US, as Kantar notes all iPhone models counted for 31% of the carrier’s smartphone sales during the quarter. Currently the carrier holds just 10.1% behind Verizon (34.6%), AT&T (29%), and Sprint (12.7%).
The report notes T-Mobile has been attracting a lot of first time smartphone buyers since getting the iPhone with around 53% upgrading from feature phones: Read more
Walmart is set to dramatically cut iPhone prices starting Saturday, according to Mashable, which points to an impending iPhone hardware refresh in the coming months. Walmart will reportedly slash the already low iPhone 5 cost from $189 to $129 and the iPhone 4S will go from $89 to $39 on contract with AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon (Uncarrier T-Mobile, which Walmart doesn’t support, is not included in the deal).
Walmart isn’t the only retailer jumping on the discounted iPhone wagon. Best Buy will reportedly offer substantial discounts to iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 customers offering in-store credit or credit toward the purchase of a new iPhone. Such promotions tend to hint at upcoming hardware refreshes as retailers look to move out existing inventory. Read more
Thanks reader Kory for screenshot
AT&T started this month charging an administrative fee of $.61/month/user for its mobile customers in addition to its current fees. While the fee may be small, as the Verge notes it adds ‘up to hundreds of millions of dollars’ over 24 month contracts and millions of customers. What gives? An AT&T spokesperson told us:
Consistent with similar fees charged by other carriers, the monthly fee of 61 cents per line will help cover certain expenses, such as interconnection and cell site rents and maintenance
The fee applies to consumer mobility lines as well as IRU lines – the kind of business lines where the employee pays the bill directly.
AT&T isn’t alone in this endeavor. Verizon charges admin fees of $0.91 and Sprint charges $1.99. (Plus more for regulatory fees.) T-Mobile’s combined regulatory programs fee is $1.61. On this basis, AT&T’s is still the lowest of all carriers. It still sucks though. “expenses, such as interconnection and cell site rents and maintenance” seems like it should be part of the current fees and that fee is easier to raise because it isn’t part of the publicized rate plan.
Earlier this month we told you that Verizon-backed ItsOn, a company building software for carriers that provides users with dynamic pricing plans on mobile devices, was planning on introducing a new mobile service that takes advantage of its software. Today ItsOn has officially announced Zact, a mobile service that provides flexible, adjustable data plans that allows users to pay for only what they use, customize voice, text, and data plans in real-time at any time, and share data on an unlimited amount of devices: Read more
ItsOn, a company building software for carriers that provides users with dynamic pricing plans on mobile devices, last year announced plans to partner with one of the big U.S. carriers for its launch early this year. We’ve since learned that the carrier is likely Verizon, and that ItsOn will be launching as a consumer facing MVNO later this month (Verizon and Vodafone who both share ownership of Verizon Wireless are both investors).
There’s no word on exactly what the announcement will consist of or what the ItsOn service will include, but based on the company’s software we expect to see flexible pricing plans that, of course, run on Verizon’s robust LTE network. Despite executives expressing doubts about the service running on iOS devices in previous interviews, we also believe that an iOS version of the service is indeed coming, but at launch the service will initially be limited to other smartphones (likely Android-based). Read more
Verizon announced a few notable changes this week, possibly in response to T-Mobile’s new ‘Uncarrier’ pricing structure.
The first change enforces 24-month contracts and restricts subsidized upgrades during that period. Customers will no longer enjoy ‘early upgrades’ after 20-months, as was previously the policy.
While the change may disappoint customers who enjoyed upgrading their devices more frequently, Verizon told The Verge that a new “Device Payment Plan” will be accompany the policy changes.
The new payment plan allows customers to upgrade their smartphone annually by paying the upgrade fee at the register and dividing the rest of the full-retail price over 12 months. This payment plan will include a $2/month finance charge through the duration of the year.
For people like us who update annually, this option is a more pragmatic approach, especially when vendors like Gazelle (as well as others) typically pay more than the subsidized cost of a new smartphone for last year’s smartphone.
At NAB, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam told attendees that half of his network’s wireless traffic is used for downloading video. McAdam reportedly added that he expects video to take over 2/3 of the Verizon network by 2017. The CEO thanks the carrier’s investments in LTE technology for making this happen.
On the subject of LTE networks, McAdam also shared an interesting tidbit regarding an encounter with Steve Jobs and Apple during the development of the current iPhone, the iPhone 5. One of the latest iPhone’s premier new features over its predecessors is support for LTE networks in regions across the globe. McAdam says that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was initially reluctant about including LTE in the iPhone 5, but McAdam’s descriptions of LTE’s speed capabilities changed Jobs’ mind: