Verizon Fights Back with Strong iPhone Sales

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In the first major market scuffle over iPhone sales, which wireless giant takes this round: AT&T or Verizon?

After both companies released their earnings report, it’s still a tough call. AT&T posted solid numbers yesterday, but Verizon is reporting today that it signed up more than 900,000 new net subscribers. That’s more than double a year ago and puts AT&T’s addition of a mere 62,000 net subscribers to shame.

Before Verizon devotees take victory laps, let’s dig a little deeper.

Verizon clearly outpaced AT&T in customer growth, but the company only activated 2.2 million iPhones since launching it in February. Contrast with AT&T’s 3.6 million activations. Sound like an AT&T win? Keep digging, because that’s still not the full story.

AT&T had the iPhone for the entirety of the quarter–a full 90 days. When Verizon started selling the phone, there were just 50 days left. So with an additional 40 days, it stands to reason Verizon would’ve been close to selling 4 million iPhones as well.

In general, Verizon’s quarterly earnings are in line with expectations. Overall, it reported earnings of $1.4 billion on revenue of $27 billion for the quarter. Profits grew more than threefold from the $443 million it earned during the same period last year.

Despite that strong performance, investors weren’t impressed. Verizon’s share price fell 2.3%, though they rallied by nearly half a point before the bell.

The results aside, we can say one thing: the iPhone’s alive and kickin’ and definitely not hurting either telecom force.

For AT&T and Verizon, the real battle begins when the next version of the iPhone is released, which–if the latest predictions prove true–should be sometime in September.

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