Verizon Wireless

Verizon today announced its second-quarter 2012 earnings. As expected, the carrier sold a lot of phones. No, really. A lot of Android phones. And a lot of iPhones.

On the wireless side, which is the one we pay more attention to here, Verizon saw a 1.2 million net subscriber additions. Some 888,000 of those subscribers are of the traditional prepaid nature. Verizon now has a total of 94.2 million customers, 88.8 million of which are retail postpaid customers.

The really interesting numbers, though were the following:

  • 50 percent of Verizon's postpaid base is smartphones, up 13 percentage points from this time last year.
  • About 7 percent of smartphone owners upgraded their devices in the second quarter.
  • For the quarter, 2.9 million Android phones were activated, 2.5 million of which were 4G LTE
  • Activated 2.7 million iPhones in the quarter, up from 2.3 million a year ago

It's interesting to note those Android activation numbers. In June, Andy Rubin announced that more than 1 million Android devices are being activated every day. Verizon activated 2.9 million devices in 90 days. Just goes to show it's a big world out there, folks.

Source: Verizon


Reader comments

Verizon activates more Android phones than iPhones in Q2


I am definitely on the Android side of this battle(even tho my Evo LTE is driving me crazy with multitasking) but this really isn't that impressive. Iphones go for full price with pretty much no discount offered and only 2 models sold and Android phones can be purchased for anywhere from a penny to $300 and sometimes even BOGO. In my opinion, a 200K lead is pretty weak when you factor that in. Definitely hope the Android number continues to beat out the iOS number tho because the iOS addicts will be all over that little statistic if it does.

Agreed. I am not an Apple fan boy by any means, I like Apple and Android equally. What irritates me though about Android users is that they feel the 200K more phone sales or active lines means they are beating Apple, or that the market share of phones has surpassed the iPhone. What no one takes into consideration is the amount of phones Android has vs Apple.

Apple owns 60% of the tablet market with android closing in on that gap. That's awesome, and once they either tie it at 50 or go beyond, the Android Army will feel they claimed a victory. Thing all the Android fans don't see is that there are 3 iPad's vs the 150+ Android available tabs. So who really owns the market... You can use this same concept in both MP3 and phone.

And to continue my rant, another thing that bugs me is the comparisons. Let's compare a 4.8" quad core S3 to a 3.6" iPhone 4S from a year ago. Well ummm, yeah. Let me compare my Sony Walkman vs my iPod real quick, I wonder which device would win...

Retards. - End rant - HAHA

"What irritates me though about Android users is that they feel the 200K more phone sales or active lines means they are beating Apple, or that the market share of phones has surpassed the iPhone. What no one takes into consideration is the amount of phones Android has vs Apple."

Maybe because it doesn't funkin' matter how many phones and because it DOES mean they are beating Apple.

What YOU don't take into consideration is that sales volume is still sales volume, no matter how many models are available. Apple customers are going to buy the Apple phone no matter what model is available. If you haven't learned that by now, you haven't been paying attention.


To counter a few of your points: regardless of the selection of phones apple lacks, android is still outweighing them. Android may have multiple OEM s but in the end Google still wins.

There are only 3 iPads and Apple owns 60% of the tablet market. Ok, and last year there were 2 iPads and apple owned 95% of the market. Also, samsung, Asus,and 1 or 2others are the only real competition. The other 145 tablets have numbers so small they don't compete.

Lastly. Comparing new phones to the iPhone 4s is normal because its apples newest device! apple only comes out with the device once a year so this is obviously going to happen. I saw a comparison on youtube the other day of an ipad 3 verse the original samsung galaxy tab 10.1. The guy was going off about how much better the brand new ipad was compared to the year and a half old galaxy tab. Which by the way apple is still trying to sue over.

Greater marketshare matters to normal Android users because it brings us closer to the point where the best apps are developed for Android first. In this regard, it doesn't matter how many iPhone models vs how many Android models. That is the only thing I care about. I couldn't care less about revenues, profits or who "owns" the market - let the fanbois argue about that.

It has to be more profitable to develop for android before that happens. As it is, I don't think we're there yet.

In the realm of market-share it IS impressive. Not everyone who gets an Android for $49 would have otherwise jumped on the iPhone $299 bandwagon. Android opens smartphones to a whole new range of people.

iPhone was the undisputed king, the fact that their platform has fallen behind at all is impressive. Don't be surprised to see low cost Android tablets start to eat away at the monster lead the iPad has.

Low cost Android tablets have been out for awhile and nobody is buying them. Agree that Android opens smartphones to a new range of people. But the iPhone 3GS is free, the iPhone 4 $99, and the iPhone 4 s starts at $199. So I don't know where you get $299 from.

The Nielsen stats that dropped a week ago showed Android phones (worldwide) to be outselling iPhones 2:1. Verizon prides themselves on premier phones (i.e. good iPhone competition) so it is not too surprising that iPhone activations are still close to Android, since the iPhone is still pretty much at the top of the list when it comes to smartphone preference.

The one thing that does skew these numbers is that the iPhone 4S was a Q4 2011 release, and Apple fans are notoriously early adopters. When the iPhone 5 drops I bet you see Verizons numbers flip completely and then steady out again.

I don't think Android users realize how many cheap android phones are sold as prepaid. AT&T has 2 that I can think of that sell for just over a hundred bucks without a contract and believe me when I say they're POSs. People buy these phones as temporary replacements when they need a cheap smartphone if they lose theirs.

There are three iPhones still sold/shipped.
iPhone 4s
iPhone 4
IPhone 3GS
The difference between the number of Android and iPhones sold is minimal considering the iPhone 5 will be out soon and people are waiting on that. Especially since it will have LTE.
Apples prices aren't any different from the prices for top end Android devices in in some cases cheaper.
iPhone 3GS = free and it will run almost all of the features of iOS 6 on a phone introduced in 2009.
iPhone 4 $99
iPhone 4s $199 and up depending on if you get 16, 32, or 64 GB phone.
Numbers of devices sold doesn't mean much when Apple, iOS developers, and accessory makers make dramatically more money than Google and Android manufacturers etc.
The ONLY Android manufacturer not losing money is Samsung. The rest are in the red with not much hope of making a profit. Samsung also reports units shipped not sold to an actual customer whereas Apple reports only units sold to an actual person. I know this is Verizon. Just saying that Samsung's numbers are highly suspect.

An iPhone 3GS will NOT run almost all of the features of iOS 6 and the damn iPhone 4 doesn't even run most of the features of iOS 6 so that is some WILD misinformation.

And dont play the Apple number reporting game because we all know they can pull some marketing magic out of their ass(like every other manufacturer) and make their numbers look even better than they already do.

As long as the apps being run aren't hardware specific (like a front facing cam), it still supports all of the APIs that iOS6 adds.

Original iPhone = iPhone 1
iPhone 3G = iPhone 2
iPhone 3GS = iPhone 3
iPhone 4 = iPhone 4
iPhone 4S = iPhone 5

...I would bet money the new iPhone will be called the new iPhone...

I'm sure by now they have realized that "The New ipad" was a huge mistake of a name. When the next ipad comes out the 3rd generation ipad will have no name. Apple is going to look like a bunch of idiots. I doubt they make that mistake again.

I think you not follow Apple much, iPhone and iPad are only Apples's mobile hardware that been numbered, others like iPods for it's over 10 years history never been numbered and been named the same (keep in mind we not talking here about side products like iPod Nano) and no body complained, geeky people who cared call them 1st gen, 2nd gen, 3rd gen etc. even iPod touch which is iOS device is not numbered.... but all of this didn't stop iPod to be popular :p

As for name for next iPhone, since they name it iPhone 3G once because of 3G support if they add LTE to iPhone they may call it iPhone 4G

It's because Verizon pushes the whole DROID line more than anything else, I went into a large Verizon store near my work, and I thought they didn't have my phone (Galaxy Nexus) on display, come to find out, it was pushed into a corner far away from the main entrance. A friend of mine wanted an iPhone and the whole time they kept trying to sell her on a DROID. They make some kind of commission on selling DROID branded phones (not Android, but the DROID line). The sad part is; the average consumer doesn't know any better.

That is incorrect... first, they get paid on any android phone, not just Droid... second, employees get paid more for selling LTE devices... if the iPhone was 4g then they would push that just as hard.

I agree that the article appears to be misleading. At this time, (and what seems to be the beginning of the year) Verizon has been biased of steering customers to Android phones in general because of the LTE feature. It's not that they see Android as superior to Apple, it's because they invested heavily in their LTE infrastructure, and their advertising reflects as much. But this is an advantage for Android. Each week Android LTE phones show their speed dominance over Apple, and win adopters over from Apple, it makes it that much harder for Apple to win them back in October.

I would however like to see a Verizon sales report at the end of their year, and see a comparison of phones sold between Android and Apple after the release of Apple's upcoming phone.

I agree...many new subscribers want LTE and the current iPhone does not offer it. When the next one comes out with LTE & a bigger screen, it will be interesting to compare.

Too bad HTC wasn't called the DROID Rezound. At least then VZW would have showed at least a little interest of selling & supporting it.

Someone help me out here. So it seems to be an almost 50:50 split in terms of android/iphone sales. So why do reports show that android has ~ 50% of smartphones share while apple is ~30% (numbers may be off). Is it cause Verizon is not representative of other carriers?

In my speculation, you are correct. I would assume that the majority of iPhone users are on ATT, VZN, and to a lesser extent, Sprint. (I can't speak from memory about non-US usage.) That still leaves a lot of the non-iPhone world left over.

Verizon is one wireless provider in the USA. There are three other Major providers, plus many other smaller ones. Then you need to consider the market outside of the US, it's a big world as they say. Iphones, and other apple devices, are priced as LUXURY devices. Android is far more flexible, targeting a much larger market. This is why IOS will NEVER beat Android unless Apple undergoes a significant paradigm shift.

Until they start selling shitty iPhones on prepaid then no they will never 'beat' them. Apple is incredibly profitable, moreso than the majority of android OEMs so I'm sure they don't care.

If you put any stock in Rene's views at all, you are not anywhere close to knowing what is actually going on. The AC staff are beholden to him and so they are respectful of his opinions, but he really is completely biased and non-objective when it comes to Android and iOS. You shouldn't trust anything he writes/says.

Android smart phones are the majority, and the iPhone sells in impressive numbers for 2 phones that are old and older. Two winners. My take is that it is good to have healthy competition out there. Pick what works best and have fun sending giants sums of money monthly to Verizon, another winner at picking pockets.

Verizon is now 95 million strong? How is that possible with their overpriced and data sharing plans? (Sarcasm voice) Hahaha

@degusta, is that you? Nice trolling. What you meant to say was "I guess this means there are even more Verizon Android customers who don't give a **** about whether or not their phone runs Clambake Popsicle because they don't even have a ******* clue what that means and instead picked Android because they just ******* liked it more than the iPhone."

4G LTE phones made up 2.5 million of that total. Thats the intersting part, the oldest LTE phone on Verizon is the Charge. That means the mass bulk of the Android phones are relatively recent. As in less than a year old.

Interesting, that doesn't leave much left for the cheap $1 phones. And it also shows that the bulk of the phones selling aren't the cheap Android phones, but instead the ones that cost hundreds. The charge is $100, which is the same price as the 8GB iPhone 4.

Will be interesting to see Q3 with the Galaxy S3 numbers factored in. I actually hope they lose subscribers though, not a fan of their shitty new data plans.

That's really not that accurate because the Thunderbolt is over a year old and as we all know Android phones tend to drop in price within 6 months of being released and go on sale often. Hell, Amazon Wireless had sales where you could get ANY android device for 1 penny earlier in the year.

don't be rediculous. everyone knows the only people who buy android are those who can't or won't switch to AT&T for the iphone. As soon as verizon gets the iphone, it's all over for android...

Credit should be given where credit is properly due.

+ Google succeeds with its Android platform/OS overall
+ Apple succeeds with marketing a single brand (device) with such success
+ Samsung for recognizing brand recognition, and continuing to grow the Galaxy name and line of products.

At the end of the day it's about which platform reaches the most hands and Google/Android has succeeded. But from a marketing perspective, you really have to give Apple credit for holding up a fight with the iPhone.

I would love to see Samsung and Motorola reach that level of success with a single product down the line. One half is having a good device, the other half is marketing and building a name for a product the consumer will recognize and go back to generation after generation.

It's much like the automotive industry and why, for example, General Motors (as one example) hasn't seen consistent success in the C-segment. When your product doesn't live up to the competition, scrap the name and hit the drawing board with a new one. It's greatly why Toyota and Honda have both seen so much success with the Corolla and Civic (though in recent years that's clearly shifted but my point stands for the past few decades).

Personally,I don't care who sells more or less phones. I don't care that one OS has 10 or 1 million applications. All I care is that a phone does what I need to do. The most popular game is Angry Birds on IOS, Android, and Windows Phone. I tried it and didn't like it. So to me, it doesn't matter. Instagram was an IOS exclusive. I don't like how the friends I have use it, so I don't care that it took however long it took to get to Android. Pinterest, saw it, tried it, didn't care or it. So, what I'm trying to say is... if the phone does what you need/want to do,why do people care what others do or don't do? Do people show the phone they purchased and try to convince others that they are cool because they purchased something? That's very sad.

What this means is that there are 2.7 million idiots who are stuck with a 3.5 inch screen and are on 2G/3G until 2014. LOL

Apple is one of the most profitable companies on earth, if not the most. So are you sure it's still Google who's winning?