The iPhone was Verizon’s top-performing smartphone during its most recent quarter, the company revealed during its quarterly earnings call today. All told, Apple’s smartphone made up 63 percent of Verizon’s smartphone device sales for the quarter, with 6.2 million sales out of a total of 9.8 million for smartphone hardware. Of the 6.2 million iPhones sold, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said that half were 4G-capable, which means they were iPhone 5 handsets.
Compared to the previous quarter, iPhone sales were up considerably, which makes sense given that this reporting period covers the holiday season. In Q3 2012, Verizon sold 3.1 million iPhones out of 6.8 million total devices sold, or just over 45 percent. iPhones therefore accounted for a greater percentage of Verizon’s smartphone sales during the period, and it’s likely the iPhone 5 that gave sales of Apple devices on the network their biggest boost, since they accounted for just 31 percent of total iPhone sales in Q3, vs. around 50 percent this quarter. They were only available for part of Q3, however, but could be ordered by customers for the entirety of Q4.
Unfortunately, there’s no real way to break out how the iPhone 5’s performance compares to the iPhone 4S’ performance during the same period last year. Verizon definitely sold a greater number of iPhones during Q4 2013 than in Q4 2012, when it sold 4.2 million devices, and Apple took a larger percentage of total smartphone sales. But since at the time there was no way to distinguish between iPhone 4S and earlier models that Verizon offered (vs. now, when they break out “4G-capable” and others), we can’t get an idea of how many customers were picking up older devices last year.
Still, we can see that demand for Apple’s iPhone is still very strong in the U.S. market, stronger than it has ever been based on Verizon uptake at least. That’s an interesting data point to consider, given all the talk of weakening supply-side orders that has been cropping up lately.