Verizon CEO takes credit for convincing Steve Jobs to make iPhone 5 LTE, says half of wireless traffic is now video

Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 9.51.50 PM

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:

Read more

How much does T-Mobile’s contract-free iPhone plan save over two years?

Now that T-Mobile offers the iPhone, how do the four national carriers compare in terms of costs? A couple of websites have done the sums.

Our friends over at Zagg did a blog post that suggested three of the four networks come out at exactly the same annual cost when attempting to get as close as possible to like-for-like tariffs, while going with T-Mobile’s contract-free option will save you $580 over two years.

carriers

Based on unlimited talk and text, and 4GB of data per month. Sprint offers only ‘unlimited’ data (claiming not to throttle), though is not noted anyway for fast data speeds.

While this is true for individuals, it doesn’t tell the whole story … Read more

Verizon CFO talks iPhone: Free iPhone gains, incentivizing employees to sell lower subsidy devices & Share Everything plans

verizon-iphoneVerizon CFO Fran Shammo spoke at the Duetsche Bank Annual Media, Internet & Telecom conference this morning, where he was asked a few questions related to the iPhone. Verizon reported its fourth quarter 2012 earnings last month with 9.8 million smartphone activations—a record 6.2 million of which were iPhone. We knew about half, or 3.1 million, of those iPhone sales were driven by the first full quarter with the iPhone 5, but today Shammo talked about just how important getting the free iPhone 4 was during the quarter:

But this past fourth quarter you had a couple — you had really one thing happen that never happened before, especially with Verizon Wireless, and that was for the first time ever, because of the iPhone 5 launch, we had the 4 at free. So it was the first time ever you could get a free iPhone on the

Verizon Wireless network. So that produced a lot of volume for us. We had a lot of new customers come into Verizon who took that free phone, and that was great for us because again if you think about — we sold a lot of LTE product in the fourth quarter. We sold a lot of 3G product from the iPhone products in the fourth quarter.

But that is key for us, because if you think about our two networks it is important for me as I migrate people into the 4G network I still have this very large 3G network that operates very efficiently. We are not investing any more capital in that network other than to keep it up and running, so no more coverage capital, no more capacity capital. If I can keep that network up and running that just generates more contribution margins for us. So it is critical for us to balance that. But, again, I think you had one point in time where you had a free phone, a free Apple phone that never happened before with us and that generated a lot of volume.

While noting that 53 percent of the carrier’s smartphone activations were iPhones in 2012, Shammo was asked about the opportunity to incentivize employees to sell non-Apple devices that would also come with lower subsidies for Verizon:

The answer is, no, we don’t and it is critical that we don’t do that. The reason for that is because what is more important for us is when a customer walks into a store that customer walks out with a phone that they will be happy with and not return under our 30-day guarantee. Because the worst thing that can happen for us is for me to incentivise a salesperson to get you into a phone that you walk out the door with thinking you are going to like and in three days you come back because you don’t like it. Therefore, now I’ve just subsidized two smartphones because that phone you used I can’t resell as a new phone.

You can read more from Shammo’s presentation and where he discusses the growth of Share Everything plans, tablets, and more here.

Report: iPhone captured 51.2-percent of US smartphone market last quarter, Android switchers up 10 percent

Kantar-Worldpanel-Comtech-iOS-2013Apple was able to maintain its lead of smartphone sales in the U.S. market during the holiday quarter ending Dec. 23, according to new data released by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. The report said iOS was the top-selling smartphone platform during the three-month period, as it recorded 51.2-percent of market sales compared to Android’s 44.2-percent.

While Android’s share of the market remained steady, down from just 44.2-percent last year, Kantar noted an increasing number of iPhone sales to other smartphone users. Sales of iPhones to Android users apparently grew 10 percent compared to 2011:

“In particular, 36% of iOS sales were derived from other smartphone users over the last year. While this figure remains stable over time, the proportion of Android users moving towards the Apple brand increases. 19% of iOS sales over the last year were derived from Android users, compared to 9% in 2011,”

Among the switchers, the majority came from Verizon. About 49 percent of new iPhone sales came specifically from users of another smartphone platform, while 30 percent came from Android users. AT&T, however, only had about 6 percent Android switchers, as the majority of new iPhone purchases—55 percent—were derived from iPhone upgrades: Read more

T-Mobile/Solavei roll out iPhone-compatible HSPA+ to 14 new metro areas, as Verizon LTE arrives in 29 markets

T-Mobile-iPhone

T-Mobile’s Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray announced on the company’s blog today that 14 new metro areas are getting access to its iPhone-compatible HSPA+ 4G network. The updates are hitting areas such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Dallas, Texas, Florida, and San Antonio, following rollouts to Chicago, California, and elsewhere earlier this month.

The carrier also said enhancements to its network in additional areas like Los Angeles and San Diego have already started. This means that customers on Solavei, the new, no-contract T-Mobile MVNO offering of $49 per month unlimited, will also get coverage for unlocked iPhones in the new areas. A full list is below:

Read more

Redbox Instant by Verizon iOS app live on App Store as $8/month streaming service launches in private beta

Verizon and Redbox confirmed on the official Redbox Instant Twitter account that the new unlimited streaming service is rolling out gradually starting today. The $8-per-month Netflix competitor will provide unlimited streaming and four physical DVD or Blu-ray rentals ($9 a month for Blu-ray) and will be available through the browser as well as mobile apps. A Redbox Instant by Verizon iOS app for iPhone and iPad is already available on the App Store. There is also a free one-month trial included.

It is unclear what kind of content deals are in place for streaming, but we do know the service will offer content from Warner Bros., and EPIX.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the service today, you’ll have to sign up for the private beta on the Redbox Instant website.

Read more