Verizon turning to iPhone because Droid doesn't bring the subscribers?

sai-chart-att-vs-verizon

Both AT&T and Verizon have now released their quarterly earning statements, and it turns out AT&T (driven primarily by 5.2 million iPhone activations) signed up 2.6 million net subscribers to Verizon's 0.9 million.

So Droid doesn't bring subscribers the way iPhone 4 does? That's actually terrific news because Verizon in a position of power is not something any Android or iPhone lover would want to see. Perhaps this will encourage Big Red to let Droid be a little more Android. No doubt it's what's encouraging them towards a Verizon iPhone 4 in 2011, right?

Apple did sell

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 52 comments. Add yours.

durangojim#AC says:

Renee, stupid title. How many subscribers would VZW have without the Droid line? Probably a lot less. And of course VZW wants more customers which is exactly why they want the iPhone as well -- best of both worlds with the two most dominant mobile OSs.

bluefish266 says:

Rene, I think that your comparison is a bit off. In the US At&t is the the only place for you to get an iphone whereas Android can be purchased through a number of subscribers. So wouldn't you need to add up all of the new subscribers for all carriers to get a good comparison of whether Android attracts subscribers.

bluefish266 says:

Sorry about chopping up your name.

OrionAntares#CB says:

I have a question, what is "net subscriber additions"? Is it a completely new customer or a new plan subscription? Basically is this chart counting bodies or subscription plans? The second question would be how many of those subscriptions, wither based on bodies or just new plans, are from iPad 3Gs since it doesn't say net phone subscribers.

DrModem says:

This comparison is invalid. you can get Android phones that are just as good as the Droid line on Sprint, Tmobile, and even AT&T.
By contrast you can only get the iPhone on AT&T so all of it's users are concentrated on one carrier. For a valid comparison you need to add up numbers from ALL carriers, and even take whatever part is Andriod phones from at&t's count.

Smalls says:

You also have to put into consideration that out of those 5.2 million iPhone Activations were previous iPhone users upgrading to the iPhone 4.

Smalls says:

Whoops, but with the subscriber count... I wouldn't doubt it. It's Apple, everybody wants one of those shiny iPhones. People like myself want a phone that is a bit more "open", such as customizing the way I want my phone to look.

TK says:

You can't say that all or a majority of those new subscribers are iPhone users, that's just asinine. And I'm with Erik, those "net subscriber editions" could be people who might of renewed their contracts. Verizon runs most of their promotions towards the end of the year and during holidays. I think Renee needs to take his lips off of AT&T's dick.

Robes says:

How about we pick one Android phone to battle the one iPhone. You Android lickers always wanna put the ONE iPhone against motorolas phones, htc phones, and samsung phones like that could possibly be fair. Why don't you climb in the ring against Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, and a blackbelt all by yourself? Since that's the kind of comparisons you like to make. I promise to tell your family that it was fair. LOL!!

Rene Ritchie says:

Sigh. Chill out Android lovers. Take a breath. Read the article. I'm arguing that because Verizon keeps messing with Android they aren't getting the response they could if they put out pure Android devices. Maybe I'm wrong, but if they had a few non-locked down, non-skinned, really Android devices, they would do better.
Unless you WANT Verizon to keep mutilating Android and start mutilating iPhone as well? The less power Verizon has (i.e. the more they need subscribers) the better for Apple and Google.

Robes says:

@Renee Why bother talking to them like they really read or listen. To get some type of sideways victory they sit in groups in the dark talking about how Trojan Condoms and 2% milk outsold the iPhone this year. It's really sad. And on an iPhone site of all places. Life must be really sad and lonely on adroidcentral.com if you have to come here to have a life. I feel sorry for you guys. I'm gonna talk crap on an android site so you don't feel like a LOSER!!!! LMAO!!

fastlane says:

It's disappointing to me that Apple would choose money over revenge. Verizon should be left to suffer. Oh, well. :|

iDavey says:

Other breaking news...
Sunlight causes heat. Yeah...amazing right!?
I mean, come on. Is this really something to be surprised by? Of course AT&T's growth is going to be higher because you can only get the iPhone from one place, so people who want it have to congregate in one place. It's common sense...
Once iPhone is distributed amongst carriers, that growth will be evenly spread.

iDavey says:

@Rene
For once I agree with you. You said nothing bad in this post. I don't get why fellow Android lovers are getting upset???

Verizon says:

What can we say... Apple came to us first and we turned them down. How would we know the iPhone would do so well! This time around, we're going to do it right and just because we have it on our network means no threat to the Android handsets. Can't we all just get along?! Oh, and AT&T? Suck it, you no 3G having in most areas Asses!

Jamel Burgos says:

@Eric iPad 3G wouldnt count because it prepaid and not post paid.

Anthony says:

Android's milkshakes can't bring all the boys to the yard?

Jay Mobile says:

@Fastlane
Spoken like a true researcher, I applaud your comment LoL

OrionAntares#CB says:

@Rene "I’m arguing that because Verizon keeps messing with Android they aren’t getting the response they could if they put out pure Android devices."
Some of us were looking at other factors that are probably much more influential than that small factor. First question is in the source of those numbers, iPhone is exclusive to AT&T so that will help drive numbers. I believe iPad 3G devices were also exclusive so that would help drive subscriber numbers. Basically for the past quarter if you wanted an Apple 3G iDevice you HAD to be subscribed to ATT where by contrast every single national (all 4 of them) AND regional carrier in the US carries some version of Android powered device. Saying that Apple helps drive users to ATT is true but trying to say that Android could ever do the same thing for Verizon is simply a faulty argument, if you want an Android phone you can go to any carrier, if you want a iPhone you HAVE to go to ATT.
Also another question I read from someone else while trying to find a real breakdown of those "net subscribers" was about MVNOs and if ATT is counting those subscribers in these numbers as well.

Lipe says:

Android is multitask and has all the google updates better than iphone like google maps with navigator that works perfect with street view and google voice, google translator, google new youtube, etc, etc waaaaaayyyyy better
android is the iphone killer

TreSupreme says:

Hold on... who said its android lovers that think this post is dumb and inaccurate? I love my iPhone but i ALWAYS think Rene's articles are full of bias and unbalanced. Its ashame when a iPhone blog has to talk soo much about Android.

Jpwillis says:

All you verizon android multitaskers. Put on a Bluetooth headset and talk while browsing the web and see how that works out for ya. I have to give my boss a lot of facts and figures over the phone at any given time and that is multitasking I can't live without

Dead Horse says:

Please stop beating me, I've had enough.

OrionAntares#CB says:

@Jpwillis
So are you saying that while you're using an iPhone on ATT or while using an Android phone on a GSM network?

Darwin says:

Apple turned Verizon down. AT&T has improved quite a lot over the years.
You Android kids sure are insecure.

SockRolid says:

@ Darwin - "You Android kids sure are insecure."
It's because they know Oracle's lawsuit will kill Android. Google's response? (To paraphrase) "We hope they lawsuit will be thrown out of court." Verizon knows that too, so they must have made concessions to Apple to get iPhone.
SVDO will enable simultaneous voice and data connections. And Visual Voicemail can't be that hard to do. AT&T did it, and so can Verizon. And that hideous Verizon logo? Well, either Verizon has a new design ready or they caved and no longer insist that it appear on their version of the iPhone.

Jpwillis says:

@Erik
iPhone 4 on AT&T But I will admit the samsung galaxy phone on AT&T is sweet.

OrionAntares#CB says:

Verizon has Visual Voicemail, don't know why anyone would think they didn't unless they think it's some kind of iPhone "innovation".
As for the Verizon logo, my Pre Plus doesn't have the Verizon logo so clearly a deal can be made for it not to be there. If Palm could get that kind of concession out of Verizon, I'm sure Apple can if it matters to Jobs.

LazyStarGazer says:

@Dead Horse:
Thanks for giving me my daily chuckle.
Dead Horse
October 22, 2010 - 4:47 pm
Please stop beating me, I’ve had enough.

Fraydog says:

The best seller in the Android ranks was the original Droid, and that was NOT loaded with the typical Verizon crapware. That proves Rene's point... Customers want Android they don't want MOTOBLUR or Sense.

Unknown says:

I own an Android phone, but I still follow all the sites on SPE. But the reason I think so many Android fans end up here is because Rene (and TIPB in general) do talk so much about Android. Much more than AC talks about the iPhone.

chris crow says:

these rumors are crazy now days. Verizon will never..... Get iphone. It will be handicapped then no one can use it

Jason says:

Or maybe, instead of putting the retarded check mark on the iPhone, AT&T is only getting the black and to distinguish the verizon iPhone, their exclusively getting the white iPhone and that's what's with the delay. Becauseo come on and think about it. Do you really think their having this hard of a time painting the thing? The iPhone 4 has been out for how long now?if it's not gonna be a verizon exclusive iPhone then they might as well not release the white iPhone at all because we are only what, 8 months away from a new iPhone?

Pimp Lucious says:

Verizon Wireless added 997,000 net customers in the third quarter. That tally includes 584,000 postpaid customers. For comparison, AT&T added 745,000 postpaid customers in the third quarter and 2.6 million wireless subscribers overall—mostly due to connected devices.
So basically, even with the iPhone 4 launch, AT&T only beat Verizon by less than 200,000 new postpaid (contract customers). Most of Verizons growth comes from connected devices(iPad, Kindle). Somebody (Rene) has no idea what he's talking about. Most At&T iPhone sales are existing customers. That explains why Apple is jumping on Verizon, not the other way around.

kumar k says:

smart work renee, all android fans are comparing from so long that android beats iphone even though when that comparison was wrong as android is on 244 devices and iphone is ONE... now all the android fans are complaining that you can't compare as android is on all the carries and iphone is only on at&t...

Fraydog says:

Freaknasty, even with your spin, AT&T was adding more than Verizon. 5 million iPhone activations on one carrier in Q3. When Big Red gets it, that number goes upward by double. It still makes VZ $$$ because they do not have to BOGO to move devices. That more than makes up for lost revenue of not having VCast on the iPhone (except through the App Store).

Smalls says:

I think Unknown hit it spot on. The only reason why I follow this blog across the SPE is because I have an iPod Touch and I want to know what new features I could get. That and sometimes I get fascinated by the tech and hardware on the iDevices.
Ever since I got my Android phone, I have been nothing but Android. I do my best to stay biased between every smartphone. Just the other day, I was saying that the Pre 2 and WebOS 2.0 (and last week Windows Phone 7) were great looking, but if I chose a phone I would go with Android just because I know how to run it to my liking. I was also trying to defend Blackberry (In a way) when Rene said something about it on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/reneritchie/status/27865295383

Taco50 says:

A lot of android fan boys taking this post personal. 5.2 million iPhones purchased is a huge number anyway you look at it. Droid phones aren't selling anywhere near that despite being on all carriers.

ddx says:

Really Geno? Was it not Android outselling the iPhone this past record breaking quarter? Remember 3/4 major carriers here in the US are pushing Android extremely hard. Droids/EVOs/Galaxy S are selling by the truckloads.

kev says:

I would say that the majority of Droid owners were already with VZW. Although the Droid line didn't bring in a lot of subscribers it probably stopped a very many from leaving for the iPhone.

Jason says:

Almost everyone i know who has an android phone has it because it's on verizon and would have an iPhone of it was on verizon. And instead of saying android outsold iPhone, you should try to at least make your argument correct by mentioning which of the how ever many different android phones outsold the iPhone. Iphone is one phone, android is on how many different phones now. But that's right you couldn't do that, because if you did then you wouldn't have an argument as im pretty sure no single phone that has android software has outsold the iPhone. If you want to get real technical about it, then you would say android vs iOS. But then you have to include ipads and iPod touches as well.

Pimp Lucious says:

Sorry Fraydog, what you call spin are facts that Rene neglected to research, making him look a bit foolish.
Jason Samsung sold 5 million Galaxy S type phones alone. Why would we choose one model to compare? The fact that I can walk into a store and choose various different Android models or an iPhone is the only way to compare. It's still someone choosing Android over iOs. Just deal with the fact that Android is killing iOs in smartphone sales and stop trying to spin itto some model versus model sale BS. The everyone I know would have an iPhone line is BS also. You act as if we don't know Android owners ourselves and know that to be complete bull.

Amine says:

@fastlane haha good one!

Jason says:

I only know 3 or 4 people who have an android phone and they have all told me tha they would get an iPhone if it was on verizon. Wasn't saying all android owners would just the people I know. And you would chose one model to compare because android is software, iphone is hardware. Android is on a a lot of different devices so it should be outselling the iPhone..the line where you said android is killing iOS..that's the correct way to word it.
I don't care what outsells what. It's not my job to care. I don't work for apple or google. I am just a consumer that enjoys apple products. Am i trying to defend them? Not really, this is just a discussion to me. Android just as good as ios if you ask me. It all deepends on what you are looking for in a device. This is why it makes me laugh to see people get all upset over a who outsells who argument. They can be fun but it's no reason to be mad. Leave that to Apple and google employees.

Pimp Lucious says:

Well Blackberry OS is on several different models on every carrier, yet they are no longer outselling iPhones. Pretty much kills your point.

TK says:

@Rene: You also fail to realize that the average consumer doesn't care what a company does to their smartphone as long as they can call, text and update their facebook/twitter. The only people that care about the phone "being locked down" are the nerds. And even if/when the iPhone hits Verizon, it'll be locked down by Apple like how it is now. So there's no difference.

Alvin says:

Believe it or not there are people who prefer AT&T over Verizon, and it has nothing to do with the iPhone. Verizon is just good at marketing. There service is not all that.

James says:

@SockRolid
Really? Even if Google loses, Android will still be going strong. It won't be anything more than a small bump on a long road. I mean really? Let's say Google really gets reamed and has to pay something ludicrous (like say - $500,000,000). That's a drop in the bucket for companies that make over 5 billion in net profit per year. :)

Fraydog says:

Freaknasty, you must think we are all blooming idiots that can't determine what the postpaid adds are by looking. Are you kidding? You are simply another victim of the Highlander Syndrome that set this entire industry back 20 years. There can be more than one winner in the mobile space. Deal with it! I'd say you're the one ignoring facts when you also consider that iOS is growing with only one carrier, and ignoring growth will increase with multiple carriers. Say what you want but just look at iOS sales in Europe or anywhere else in the world for that matter if you need any verification.

Hypnotosov says:

The question is rethorical, we know that Verizon tried to get it's hands on an iPhone deal in 2007 (see the current headline article). As soon as it was clear that the iPhone was a succes all providers wanted a cut of it. So the Answer is:
No, Verizon is not turning to iPhone because Droid doesn’t bring the subscribers.
The other question posed by mr Ritchie "So Droid doesn’t bring subscribers the way iPhone 4 does?" is probably true (although you cannot know this from these numbers), but a bit of a red herring given the IOS/Android divide.
But it´s mostly a segue to the final question "perhaps this will encourage Big Red to let Droid be a little more Android." I doubt it ;)
But Verizon probably has better customer data than we do, so they might know if the "closedness" of the Droid was a major reason for potential buyers to choose other alternatives.

Gerardo says:

This is kind of a stupid conclusion. Is not like Verizon is the only one having Androids. All major carriers have androids. So this is the question. After taking all the android new activations in ATT, and adding those activations plus the ones from TMo and Sprint to Verizon, what OS has more activations?
The issue with Iphone is that only activates with ATT, once VZ has the Iphone these numbers will change fast, until VZ network also collapses over the Iphone overcharge!