It wasn’t that long ago that smartphones were a niche product. They were bought almost exclusively by nerds and nerdy businesspeople. But that time is long gone. In Verizon’s most recent financial earnings report, the telecommunications giant touts that 70% of the devices on its retail postpaid network are smartphones.
Verizon also reports that at the end of 2013, there were 96.8 million retail postpaid connections after the company added 1.6 million new connections. That works out to 67.76 million smartphones on Verizon’s network alone.
In the summer of 2012, smartphones crossed the 50% penetration mark on Verizon’s network. At that time, just before the launch of the iPhone 5, feature phones were quickly going out of vogue while at the same time, smartphones were dropping in price.
Now, in the dusk of 2014, smartphones are clearly the dominant type of phone. They’re available at every price point. And carriers couldn’t be more happy. With smartphones comes pricey data plans and happy company fat cats.
Verizon is reporting 2013 fourth quarter total revenues of $21.1 billion, up 5.7 percent year over year. For full-year 2013, total revenues were $81.0 billion, up 6.8 percent over 2012, and service revenues were $69.0 billion in 2013, up 8.3 percent year over year.
There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for smartphones. With carriers constantly reinventing upgrade cycles and manufacturers rolling out innovative models, the smartphone market doesn’t look to be saturated anytime soon. If anything, the company’s whose futures depend on smartphones won’t allow it.