Verizon iPhone didn't meet initial sales expectations?

Verizon iPhone

BGR is reporting that, according to one of their Apple sources, the first week of sales for the new Verizon iPhone were purportedly smaller than Apple and Verizon expected. The figures were drawn from five Apple retails stores covering the first five days of availability, including two "very, very prominent" locations and show a dwindling margin between AT&T and Verizon sales after the first 48 hours of availability:

  • Thursday: Verizon = 909, AT&T = 539
  • Friday: Verizon = 916, AT&T = 680
  • Saturday: Verizon = 660, AT&T = 471
  • Sunday: Verizon = 796, AT&T = 701
  • Monday: Verizon = 711, AT&T = 618

The difference between Verizon and AT&T sales were as low as 12% by day four, although the Verizon iPhone still managed to out-sell that of AT&T. We're not exactly sure what Apple's expectations were, but regardless it looks like the Verizon iPhone has still been out-selling the AT&T iPhone since day one.

They were also told that online pre-orders between Verizon and Apple amounted to around 550,000 units after selling out within the first 18 hours. The majority of Verizon iPhone buyers were Android switchers at 30% followed by sales to ex-Blackberry users at 25%. Only 14% of Verizon iPhone sales were to former AT&T iPhone users.

There are probably a fair amount of people still locked into contracts, on family plans, or corporate accounts who may have to wait to switch. That could be a gradual process to say the least. Still, given all the hype do you think store sales numbers should have been higher out of the gate? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


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Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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Reader comments

Verizon iPhone didn't meet initial sales expectations?


People don't want to buy something under contract that will soon be replaced by a much newer and likely more advanced version of the same.

Can anyone else read? Look at the numbers. Verizon blew AT&T out of the water each day. Thurs - 169%, Fri- 135%, Sat - 140%, Sun - 114%, Mon - 115%. And that's after it's been out for over 6 months and after selling 550,000 online, which AT&T didn't. That looks like a complete blow out to me.

Can you also understand that maybe more people bought the iPhone 4 on Verizon vs AT&T, cause they never had a chance to buy the iphone/iphone3G/iPhone3Gs the last 4 years ? ;)

Lol. You don't make any sense. You do realize the phone just came out for verizon right? This stats is impressive even though the veriphone is new at&t still has strong sales!!!! and the phone is 7 months old on at&t.

You're dumb and don't undersand percentages and it's a phone that's been on AT&T for 7 months and the Vz version barely beat it. Not food for Vz. The iPhone 5 launch will be a much better indicator. The smart ones are waiting till June.

Yes but most people on AT&T that wanted an iPhone already got them. It'll be interesting to see what the figures are side by side after te iPhone 5 comes out.
Btw, verizon only sold 88% more on Sunday, not 114%.

Wow you're dumb too. Im glad I didnt go to public school. It's 8.8%. This isn't out of 100. Let's me break out down. It's the smaller number divider by the bigger number and then you move the decimal over 1 place, not 2. Jeez

Chill out guys. They both are still doing very well. It's about apple and the amount of money they are making and it's amazing.

Before you correct someone's math make sure you know what you're talking about, which you clearly don't. 701 is 88% of 796. The article incorrectly stated that, 796 is 12% more than 701 but it is 14% more, or as OMG correctly calculated, 796 is 114% of 701.
So congratulations, you, Alex, and the author all fail at math - OMG passes.

All of you guys would be great at marketing because you all know how to make the numbers say what you want them too. What it comes down to is on that 1 day VZW sold 14% 95 more iPhones than AT&T at that sampling of Apple Stores. Not very impressive when you think about the fact that the phone has been on AT&T for 4 years and there is a saturation point with AT&T customers already.
The real question should be what is the abandonment rate of AT&T to VZW? Better yet how many people were so mad at AT&T that they were willing to pay the ETF to go to VZW? What it all comes down to is that Apple sold 796 iPhones in that store that they probably would not have sold if the iPhone was still exclusively on AT&T.

To say "it looks like the Verizon iPhone has still been out-selling the AT&T iPhone since day one" is just non-sensical. Day one being the first day iPhone was available on Verizon? Well of course! People who wanted the AT&T version had six months already to shop. How do Verizon's first week numbers compare to iPhone 4's first week numbers last June? That's what matters.
Or rather what IPhone 5's numbers will be on each carrier if launched the same day (if Verizon doesn't again lag 6 months behind).
To me, if iPhone 4's are selling equally well on AT&T this late in the product cycle as they now are on Verizon, that seems like a big failure on Verizon's part to me. But I'm willing to without judgement to iP5.

Very true...AT&T is the seasoned iPhone carrier and is still going strong. As long as they release iPhone 5 on the same day that will be the true test

I think the comparison is the first 5 days of Verizon against the first 5 days of AT&T back in June, not what AT&T sold those same 5 days in February.

Agree with JNM. Read no further folks. Everyone is familiar with Apple's product release cycle. I say wait until June 2011 -- then lets see who outsells who.

yah, but whos to say apple doesnt take the cash from att and give iphone 5 exclusive to them for 6 months.. as i see it apple will play att and verizon against each other and give exclusive first 6 months to the higest bidder... i bet iphone 5 will not be avail at same time on both networks..

@OMG, it looks like a blowout to you because your math is wrong. Take the delta between the two entities and divide that by what entity you are comparing to. Only a 15% difference on Monday.

Yeah the wording needs to be precise or your numbers will be misinterpreted. OMG's numbers are valid calculations, but they represent Verizon's numbers as a percentage of AT&T's. In your own statement you also can't say a 15% difference - a difference is an absolute - it can't be a percentage. So Verizon sold 15% more, than AT&T on Monday, but AT&T only sold 13% less than Verizon.

ROFL. Thats's what Apple and Verizon get.

  1. People are waiting because they are wondering about iPhone 5
  2. Verizon is a tyrant with contracts. If they had an easier/more liberal upgrade policy they may have had more takers
  3. It is only a month an a 1/2 after xmas. Lots of people already got phones and Verizon was not friendly with their policy where that was concerned.
  4. Really? I can't talk and surf @ the same time. NO DEAL
  5. You are offering Unlimited data but you will throttle me if I use too much? RUFKM? And you say your network can handle it. Riiiiiiiight NO DEAL.

Personally I wish all the AT&T dropped call complainers would go ahead already and GTFO so the network will open up. I'm not necessarily an AT&T Fan anymore but I love my iPhone and I like to be able to talk and surf. So I stay.

Plus, blots and news articles everywhere were telling people to wait. When someone worries about "the next best thing" they will wait. Funny thing is people were all impatient about this phone but when it finally came, they decided to wait until the next version.
WHen iPhone 5 comes out we'll see 2x the hype of last year, then we can all sing more Apple praises... until then its a great choice for those entering the smartphone world and those getting out of contract. Slowly but surely.
Nobody will beat Android for bulk, but bulk is not the war Apple is fighting.

why coudlnt you imagine? the verizon iphone has a duel mode chip. it shows the way apple wants to go. it would keep cost down on manufacturing two phones. this is why i think the next iphone might be a bit delayed.

Unless someone either owns stock or is employed by either carrier, why would anyone care who sold more? I would still be with AT&T if there was decent service where I live, work and spend most of my time, but AT&T doesn't and Verizon does (compared where I used to live, AT&T had decent service and Verizon didn't).
As far as waiting until June for iPhone 5, I didn't want to wait, I really liked the iPhone, iPhone 3 and iPhone 3Gs I had with AT&T. I would have upgraded to the iPhone 4, but I moved while I still had the 3Gs and I had to move off AT&T due to service issues. It's worth it for me to buy the Verizon iPhone 4 now, even if there is an iPhone 5 in June, I'll just sell this one and upgrade and pay the difference, no big deal. Personally I don't think the iPhone 5 will come out in June. All the previous models have been released in that time frame, but I think Apple is going to push the release back closer to the holidays. There's no guarantee that Apple will stick to a June release date and with the Verizon iPhone 4 just released in February, I don't know if they would release a new model that replaces a 4 month old phone (yes, I know the AT&T version would be a year old in June), but I don't think Apple will continue to have different release dates about 1/2 a year apart and June is too early to release the next gen of newly released phone.

the reason they say it did not do as well as expected even though they sold more phones that AT&T is the fact that AT&T iPhone 4 sold out every where pretty much on day one. iPhone 4 on Verizon are still in stock. So they supplied a lot more devices for Verizon thinking they would sell throuh them but did not

I would expect numbers to be higher on Verizon. They're launching the iPhone for the first time, while AT&T customers have had access to it for four years now. Note how small a percentage of people were coming over from AT&T. I'd be curious to know the actual number of them that were already iPhone owners, and how many came from other AT&T smart phones when VZW released their model. The blogs all talked about the VZW release day like to second coming, but those numbers tell me it wasn't even close. Considering I have a handset with both carriers, VZW isn't the wireless savior most rabid fanboys purport it to be. I have yet to be impressed in the two years I've carried one of each.

I feel the same, I have the iPhone 4 on AT&T and Verizon and I do not touch my Verizon one as much as I do my AT&T. I downloaded Facebook on my Verizon iPhone and it took a while, I can normally download an app on my AT&T iPhone and watch it finish, my Verizon I had to put it away as it took longer than I expected. Another thing is my job is almost underground so reception is horrible. But I use my AT&T iPhone non stop and my Verizon one, today people were calling me and they could not hear me, one person hung up on me and another had to decipher what I was saying. I am not waiting on my ThunderBolt to replace it as I was hoping I to carry around both iPhones'

I think it will bs funny when we hear reports later this summer of people going to pick up an AT&T phone but apple only has VZW left.

Put me in the group that we should wait until iPhone 5 to start comparing numbers. I believe most consumers know to wait until summer time to get the new iPhone.....

Its been on At&t for 7.5 months and its new to Verizon and At&t sales were not far off. Vzn should really have blown Att out of the water and they didnt. Epic fail

the reason the sales are not where they suppose to be is because the phone is 7months old. Alot of people are going to wait for the iPhone5 to come out. If ATT and VZW both get the phone on the initial day this is how we will determine if VZW iPhone is a failure or not. It also didnt help the matter that the VZW version didnt include the data and talk package that ATT offers. I think in the long run the #s will be about equal once IP5 comes out but still imo think ATT version will out sale because folks are more accustomed to it on ATT as well as the data and talk abilities. VZW needs to make sure IP5 is able to do both if they want to compete.

Why would anyone want this phone when you really want the Droid X? I wouldn't want the iPhone 4. I want an iPhone 4G! Get on it Apple.

I don't it's a coincidence the VZ Iphone 4 launched (only) now.
As indicated in some comments it is after Xmas and before the announcement of the new Iphone. Apple most probably wanted to make sure Q1 revenue went up, for Q2 they have the Ipad2 coming -if they can supply- and for Q3/Q4 the new Iphone.
I don't think we need to look much furthur, VZ did the best they could, Apple (shareholders) are the ones in control here.

Looming threat of the iPhone 5 (as many have said already) make these sales a lot more impressive than what they should really have been.

They would of sold more if they offered it to everyone who wanted it at a two year price instead of full retail. But they only offered it to people who either added a line or to people who were eligible for an upgrade. You were SOL if you weren't upgrade eligible or didn't want to add a line. If they said "Hey, everyone can order this at the two year price regardless of eligibility if you renew your contract." They would of seen a lot more sales.

So the numbers I like to see on top of the 30/25% Android and BB switchers are now how many of Verizon's subscribers are in each camp. How many have Android. How many have iPhone. How many have Blackberry.
I want that chart posthaste!

Im curious about something. With all this talk about the iPhone 5 has apple even said anything about a simultaneous release of the iPhone 5 on AT&T and Verizon? Something tells me that apple still has an exclusivity deal with AT&T that lets them get the release of the new iPhone first.

Two main things. January, Febuary tend to be slow sales in electronic products. As already stated by other post, the iPhone 5 out in about 80 days or less. A lot will wait.

Percentages aside on those locked in various contracts, can't afford it, or holding out for next iPhone are the factors. So taking that in note Verizon still beat At&t after people spent the the last few months on Black Friday/Christmas. Their impressive numbers. What's there to fight over?(Other than Jimi, seems like an individual whose a bit diluted. Someones not as brilliant as they think). There's better things to ponder over. Not the least brig Apple and Verizon expecting even better sales. Guess they sure love those green bills.(Any company would I guess. Remember their not your friends. Profit is the priority in any good store. Sure give everything away. But then whose ass is gonna be panhandling on the street? Exactly. Not so black an white.)

And what makes everyone here thinks that the next generation iPhone will land on both AT&T and Verizon? What if Apple decide to do business with Sprint and T-Mobile? Remember, nothing is guranteed and anything can change in no time...

Since Verizon has more customers (I think its like 90 million vs. 80 million for ATT) they should do more sales.
I'm surprised like everyone else that 14% are switching from ATT. Only I thought the number would be lower not higher.

It doesn't matter about whether or not the sales where high or low, one thing is for sure, the iPhone is growing more and more daily, and I'm positive that's good enough for Apple.

I bought my Verizon iPhone at the Verizon store. The numbers referenced in the article were all from apple retail stores. Isn't it a bit ridiculous to extrapolate numbers solely from 5 retail stores when Verizon customers may have been more apt to stop in at their local Verizon store?

Most Vz stores were pretty dead from what I hear. Two friends work at separate Vz stores and wasn't crazy or any lines.

People are probably holding off buying an iPhone when something's cooking around this time. The phone is past its midlife.

These numbers don't mean squat. When and if the iphone 5 is on both carriers then compare the numbers. As a stock holder I could careless what people buy from what carrier buy buy. I prefer AT&T and always have cause i have better service with calls and data a cheap bill and travel alot. I had verizon and it was a nightmare. And I highly doubt tmobile and sprint will see the iphone anytime soon. Verizon has about 102-104 million subs and att has 96-98 million subs. One of either carrier has more then double the subs as t mob and sprint. I don't see it as being worth it to Apple.

So this site as well as other ran stories on "should you buy the Verizon iPhone" and basically told people to wait on the iPhone 5...and now we are shocked that sales aren't as expected. That's because all the tech blog sites were hating...

I tried to switch to an iPhone and I was turned down by Verizon. I purchased an LG Vortex Phone in December and we can't stand the phone. It doesn't do what it's supposed to do half the time. The apps are funky and hard to figure out compared to apps on an Apple.
It seems that I am stuck with a phone that we will seldom use for about 2 years. The best place for my android type phone (Vortex) is the closet drawer where it won't cause continuous frustration.
I'm looking forward to a Verizon iPhone in 2013.....(:-(

I don't think this is a shock at all. How many millions did AT&T activate from July up until this launch? All those people are in contracts and unless they are really really unhappy with AT&T I don't think many are willing to pay the ETF just to switch carriers. This summer or even next summer will be the real test indicator when contracts start to end. Right now these numbers mean nothing.

Folks, it's is completely irrelevant about the side by side comps. This is why tech writers shouldn't stray into business.
While they may sell a few more units based on the new factor, the reality is Verizon's subscriber share going to iPhone is minute compared to AT&T's user base already committed to the platform. A lot of catch up still to be done before Verizon is an iPhone contender. That said, any incremental sales (meaning 86% of them since those were the non AT&T switches) is a win for APPLE! That number does have meaning here.
The only valid comparison is the total sales of the first five days vs the total sales of prior 5 days, irregardless of carrier. Why you may ask?

  1. The only fact that matters here is how many iPhones Apple sells. So the question what increase in total sales was generated by offering on now two carriers.
  2. Verizon sales day 1 are against AT&T sales for a product that has been selling several years (phone version here is not relevant due to consumer switching behavior). AT&T is selling to the very limited universe of people who haven't gone iPhone over the past several years.
  3. Based on #2, if you want to compare carrier to carrier, it would suggest Verizon's iPhone launch is a DUD! They're launch sales barely exceed AT&T's mature market sales. That said, in soter sales are a bad proxy since many probably ordered online or direct from Verizon, so you need aggregate sale numbers across all channel outlets here.