Weak Android sales mean Verizon needs iPhone

January 9, 2011

A new analysis of Android phone sales at Verizon and iPhone sales at AT&T point out that the real reason the iPhone is important to Verizon is that U.S. Android sales are falling way behind those of the iPhone.

Some new analysis by Asymco on data previously published by ITG Investment Research and their analyst Mathew Goodman shows very clearly that Verizon is not doing nearly as well with Android-powered phones as AT&T is doing with iPhones. In fact, it would appear as if AT&T is selling 2.5 times as many iPhones as Verizon is selling Android phones, according to an AppleInsider story. That would certainly explain the importance that Verizon has been attaching behind the scenes to getting an iPhone of their very own to sell. It is not a case of want. It is a case of need.

It has previously been reported that Verizon’s relationship with RIM was becoming rocky because of Verizon’s obvious interest in Android phones, which have been closing up behind Blackberry in the worldwide sales department. This meant that not only were Verizon’s Android sales weak, but they were enough to annoy RIM, one of Verizon’s oldest partners. Although Verizon willingly went after Android phones when RIM’s sales efforts fell short with the Storm, they had to have noticed that all their sales of their Android phones taken together were just a fraction of what the Apple was selling at AT&T.

As soon as it could, Verizon signed on to sell Apple’s iPad tablet computer. Now it really needs the iPhone. AppleInsider says “Unlike popular comparisons of global device activation numbers, mobile web “market share” and mobile advertising analytics, all of which can gerrymander markets that either include or exclude iPods and iPads and other devices, or group third world cheap devices into the same pool as high end smartphones, the report’s comparison of AT&T and Verizon is one of the clearest looks yet at how iPhone sales compare to Android-based smartphones in similar circumstances.”

That comparison obviously failed to impress Verizon, and almost certainly made them redouble their efforts to get an iPhone of their very own. It looks as if Verizon will make an announcement to that effect next Tuesday in New York, good news for Apple, bad news for Google.

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31 Responses to “Weak Android sales mean Verizon needs iPhone”

  1. ...:

    Weak Android sales…. Then how do you explain the “weak” Droid sales that have been better than that of the iPhone? next troll article please?

  2. DaveMTL:

    What he is saying is that Verizon, which has more clients than AT&T, should in theory be selling more Android phones, collectively, than AT&T sells iPhones. The data appears to differ. The question then becomes, what happens if Verizon clients have a choice like AT&T clients do? We’ll all have our answer in about 60 days it appears.

  3. lol:

    android is better either way

  4. NotTellinYou:

    Hey, “…” you’re the troll regurgitating twisted sell vs. sell-through numbers, a few activation numbers thrown in, and you have a sales picture as fragmented as the Android market. Android Fanbois like you take the numbers they like and mash’um up as some valid measure of Android sales.

    Android will collapse under the weight of it’s crazy business model unless someone gets a handle on it. Made by a company that makes next to nothing on the investment, hoping to gain revenue from ads and web searches, sold to providers that mess with it to lock you into their service with huge wholes in the user experience that need to be picked up by third parties and where the #1 answer here on Reddit in the Android forum is to “root” the device. Swell the perfect consumer phone!

  5. Don Boogie:

    Umm…don’t you think this might have something to do with the fact that the iPhone is exclusive to AT&T, while Android phones are available on every carrier? I mean, if the iPhone were also available on say, T-Mobile, then AT&T would not be selling nearly so many of them. Not to mention Apple probably spends more on advertising than all the other manufacturers combined.

    Dumb article.

  6. steffenjobbs:

    I can’t wait to see all those unhappy Android smartphone users chucking their old crap into the bottom of some drawer and waiting on line to get themselves a brand-new iPhone. So many Verizon customers had to settle for Android handsets because they didn’t want to switch to AT&T. They put up with second best because they had no choice. With the iPhone coming to their carrier, they’ll no longer have to put up with some wannabe iPhone device. They’ll be millions of switchers to iPhones and Verizon will make a ton of money. They’ll have long lines of customers just waiting to get iPhones for the new year.

    The only reason smartphone companies and carriers settle for Android is because it’s freely licensed and they can do anything they want with it like loading it with crap-ware. Google has to give it away and by not making any money from licensing it they’ve created one of the worst business models in history. No wonder Google shareholders are sick of Google’s shenanigans.

  7. Ural:

    There are a few things here that are false:

    a) The actual new smartphone subscribers at ATT is 2.5 million Verizon has 3 million in that time frame.
    b) Yes a lot of old iPhone fans purchased new iPhones and thats were you got that ATT actually sold more. Upgrades at Verizon were not as high.
    c) The reason why Upgrades were not as high, is because a lot of subscribers have moved over to Sprint’s Wimax This is the reason why Sprint showed great numbers
    d) Overall in the US, Android outsold iPhone since Nov, Dec sales will paint even a worse scenario. And Apple counts the iPad and the iPod as phones, which they are not.
    e) Verizon’s prices and lack of a fast network have curtailed its sales.

    Verizon iPhone, why would you want one. I rather have a Motorola Atrix with Verizon than an iPhone. Or an LG 2x with a Nova display. It does more than what iPhone can imagine. Hardware wise iPhone lacks:

    - No SuperAmoleds
    - No Nova screens
    - No 3D screens
    - No usb port
    - No external HDMI port
    - No DLNA
    - Inferior Bluetooth spec.
    - No external docks that make it a laptop
    - No large screens
    - No multiprocessor

    Softwarewise its worse Android DOES iPhone DoesNOT

    - No real multitasking
    - Easier copy paste
    - Better keyboard options (swype or swiftkeys)
    - Better navigation (iPhone has a 2 year old technology)
    - Better Text to Speech
    - Better Gesture control and video cam gestures
    - Android DOES live wall papers, iPhone Does NOT
    - Android DOES Flash, iPhone Does NOT
    - Android DOES HOTSPOT, iPhone Does NOT
    - Android has better JIT
    - Android DOES Virtual Machines, iPhone Does NOT
    - Android DOES Near Field Communications, iPhone Does NOT
    - Android DOES Very Large Screens (WUXA), iPhone Does NOT

    Its foolish to even consider an iPhone, but to each his own.

  8. filecat13:


    That junk pile of “No” and “DOES” is a checklist of your overactive imagination and marketing hype. It’s amazing that your own market research trumps the work of Asymco, and why they haven’t called you to hire you is beyond me.

    Oh, wait, maybe they’re so busy using all the amazing capabilities of their Android phones they forgot to call.

  9. Alan Smith:

    If Android is so great, why are they giving the 2nd handset away at one cent? That surely would inflate sales numbers.

  10. ana:

    I do not know how good Android but Apple will not buy again

  11. Walt French:

    @Ural, thanks for regurgitating the sales points from Android as if the comparison was 100 to nothing.

    Nowhere close. Take a look, fr’instance at your FIRST item, the screens. The current iPhone has better resolution by quite a bit because current SuperAMOLEDs (1) have fewer pixels, often on a larger screen, and (2) do not have all colors at each pixel. Nice crisp game views but much harder to read text. The fact that SuperAMOLEDs actually use MORE battery on hardly-weird formatting such as black text on white background actually shows up in the fact that many Androids have far inferior battery life, to boot.

    The really laughable item above is Android’s better JIT. Absolutely, Froyo has the BEST JIT on a smartphone. It’s MUCH better than the Eclair (Android 2.1) interpreter. However, iPhone does not need a JIT because third-party apps on iPhone all use Apple’s native toolkit, and do not need elaborate (and expensive of RAM and power) translators. And ironically, the wild-west Android situation means that many popular Androids being sold today will be stuck on the much slower 2.1 software and it’ll only be later that the wanna-be kewl fandroids realize they didn’t read the fine print and have been screwed.

    I won’t claim that iPhones are perfect. But your horribly biased list of Google Talking Points (I’ve seen ‘em a couple of times now) makes it look like Google is doing an Astroturf BS campaign— getting its shills to make claims that can’t actually be backed up. It’s worse than keeping your mouth shut if you want the world to know how YOU are the smartest dude on the planet cuz you bought Android.

    Next post, maybe put in something actually honest instead of some slip of paper you found in the parking lot at Fry’s.

  12. exxbot:

    The point of Apple devices is to lock you into a lifestyle that has you dependant on Apple sources and peripherals unlike all the other “normal” marketing ethics of standard companies. The people who choose to buy into the Apple Lifestyle make that choice regardless of all the signs that this company is out for total control of the device they just sold you and every penny they can squeeze out of your pocket!

    No, we don’t make more than one phone a year becasue that would mean giving you a choice and that’s not what we’re about! One iphone a year is all you require, dispense with your old model and pay for the new version as instructed!

    No, you can not open your phone and change the battery, you have to pay for a new device, you must NEVER look inside the device, it is not yours, it is on lease!

    No, we do not use standard connections and outputs becasue that would give you options to buy from our competitors. You must buy what we develop to connect and not question it, give your money to our greater glory, you belong to us now!

    No, you can not expand the memory with third party developed memory cards becasue that would mean you give money to another company other than us so forget that option no matter how standard it is in other mobiles! Remember, you belong to us now!

    No, you can not have video calling to other networks, stay in the apple-device to apple-device, world and lump it, we’re here to assimilate you into our cult, not set you free to do as you feel!

    No, you may not play other video media on your apple device, we develop our own for you to play so that should be all you need and we despise those apps that allow you to do otherwise!

    No, you may not have FLASH on your web browser becasue the CEO does not like it therefore neither should you! Besides, everything you need should be accessible through our own website and services so if your desire go beyond that then you are not following the guidelines of a good apple lifestyle follower!

    No, we do not like Jail-breaking becasue it allows too much freedom and choice which once again, we are not about! So one day we will carry out our threat to brick all phones that have broken the rules and you will know the wrath of Steve Jobs!

    Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave! And we will eventually dominate this world and control everything electronic in your household! Set our own high prices and you will pay it becasue you will have no other choice, there will not be a competitor left standing for you to consider otherwise. That’s the plan, and we thank you for contributing towards it!

    poor iPhone prisoners -__-

  13. Michael Linehan:

    re “Verizon iPhone, why would you want one”, and the list of Android’s capabilities:

    In a very real sense, there is no such thing as “Android”. By the time the various carriers use a different version of Android and then modify it further, there are many incompatible operating systems out there. Making a compiled list of all the capabilities of “Android” is silly, in the extreme.

    When the iPhone hits Verizon, a lot of “Android” users are going to make their real preference very clear. I think we are going to see huge numbers buying the iPhone.

  14. VincentSSS:

    The Android sales are way way up because they just began two years ago and started from nothing competing in a market with few smartphones.
    I’m not fan of iPhone but the same device with minor upgrades has been released 4 times now and people are still loyal. There must be something to that. One model beats dozens of Android devices in sales…that’s incredible. It shows that people are not switching over to Verizon for Androids. With Verizon’s higher data plan prices, who would do that?
    I have an Android device and I cannot figure out what the fuss is over. I’m no tech-nerd and don’t have time to fart around with rooting the phone just to make it work better. I want something that works out of the box. Say what you will about RIM, their devices work and don’t need customizations to do so. Apps? who cares? I’m 30 and I have work to do. Android sales will level out or drop soon. People want to see what the fuss is about, half get disappointed and go back home. In the next two years we’ll see, with BREW and Windows phones coming out strong 2011, if Android can hold on to its gains. I can’t wait to see how RIM leapfrogs everyone in late 2011 with some killer devices.

  15. travis:

    The source on this article is complete crap. Go 3 links deep and read it from the horses mouth, the company that made it doest even know if it true and they say so.

    The point is having a choice is good with any platform. I cant believe it took apple this long to figure out. Personally i use android because i dont feel like being locked into their itunes crappy ecosystem any more. I doubt verizon is hurting too much because they dont have the iphone. Is it a good idea to build more sales to get the iphone on their ridiculously expensive plans? Of course. In the same way it was benefical for apple to get the beatles on itunes. Sure they were doing fine without it, but they want to make more money because…thats the point of business! Shocker, i know. But saying one platform is better than another for anyone else but yourself is just trying to get a little buyers confirmation for having either. I use android, does that mean you should, or your kids or your grandma? Nope, just means i have different needs than you do. Fanboys on both sides need to stfu. Be glad you have the option to get the iphone on 2 carriers, but ask yourself why it has to stop there. More choice makes the consumer win in the end regardless of platform. So shut it and be happy and try to realize that this will be a win for voth oses. Apple fans will have a choice, and it will push android makers to one up them to stay on top with.marketshare

  16. austin:

    This article is incredibly weak in a number of ways. Total blorge’.

  17. Moe:

    Flash is fail, why would anyone want flash? mobile flash is worse…

  18. James:


    You are contradicting yourself. You claim Apple uses non-standard connectors which is true. The dock connector is an Apple proprietary connector. This is a good thing in many ways though. It gives the user a whole ecosystem of products to connect to their iPods, iPhones, and iPads. And it is ubiquitous enough that it acts as a de-facto standard. There are 100′s of millions of devices that have an iOS dock connector

    Then you claim that iOS users can’t have Flash. This is also correct but by your requirement that things be standards, it is also irrelevant since Flash is not a standard. Sure it is a de-facto standard (albeit a dying one) but it is not a true standard any more than the iOS dock connector is.

    So why claim the goodness of one de-facto standard and decry the badness of another. Why can’t I just do the opposite and claim Android doesn’t support the iOS dock connector therefore it is not as good as iOS?

  19. Android4G:

    it will be the fail of the fails, if Tuesday will not bring any iPhone to Verizon.)

    properly integrated mobile and desktop Flash works PERFECTLY.

    iPhone is doing well on at&t because it gets there all carriers’ subscribers in the U.S. who want iPhone so bad. at&t sales mean almost all iPhone sales in the U.S., Verizon will balance subscribers’ bases of Verizon and at&t. Att got all Verizon’s subscribers since 2007 (who wanted iPhone)

  20. JS:

    No, you can not have video calling to other networks, stay in the apple-device to apple-device, world and lump it, we’re here to assimilate you into our cult, not set you free to do as you feel!

    Apple released facetime as an open standard anyone can use it even Android developers.

  21. mgfjd:

    My Samsung Galaxy is faster than the Iphone 4. Google apps run better in android. I used to have an Iphone not looking back anymore.. If Iphone 5 offers a bigger screen, I might look into the iphone again. It is personal preference, but I think top end androids are faster, better integrated than any Iphone out there. Just my opinion..

  22. Jon T:

    SpAmdroid phones are fine if you are happy with an obvious second best option…

    And don’t mind your info being compromised. And don’t mind getting the odd virus, or the odd text going to the wrong recipient.

    Android phones are the perfect introduction to the real thing – the iPhone.

  23. K.C.:

    i have owned both the iphone and the 1st gen android. while the iphone is spectacular in a lot of ways, androisd is in its way’s. my android was on the t-mobile network. so let me first say, that i like the t-mobile network. at
    7t is making a big hype abput being able to talk on the phone and surf the web, text, mms, and other features due to their network. when in truth, t-mobile was able to do that with ease. i found that my iphone slowed considerably when trying such acts. it is also easier to change the format extensions on the andriod. in doing so, i was able to watch, and listen to any type of file my phone would play. couldnt do that with my iphone. i got the 3rd gen iphone, and a newer android phone. (i have not used any verizon service). while the screen on the iphones are better in a lo of ways, they arent bigger. also on a side note, its great marketing to have by one get one with phones. the operation on the android is just as easy as the iphone. the apps are just as appealing as the iphones also. i know the iphone was first, so yes there will be those who are die hard fans, but a change is coming.

  24. DP:

    Many of you fail to understand that ONE carrier is not going to make the difference in Android sales worldwide. Android has passed iPhone sales over the last couple of months, believe it or not. Looks like iPhone 4 didn’t prove your claims the. Most of the new phones sold to Verizon will be AT&T users jumping boat. Trust me. Please, PLEASE stop believing that Android users are looking to jump to the iPhone at any chance that they get. If You dont like it, fine.Keep it moving. Truth will be shown in the next quarter when the real numbers are shown.

  25. Mau:

    It’s pretty obvious, there will be huge increment in iPhone sales but the only reason why there are so many iPhone sales in ATT is because that is the only network where you can buy one. Do you believe that if the iPhone was offered in Verizon and Sprint from the very begining, ATT would be showing these iphone sales? Of course not.

    yes, of course iPhone sales will increment but they wont skyrocket the way some of you think. A lot of people who wanted the iPhone already got it and they made the sacrifice of going to ATT and a lot of people like their androids.

    iPhone will grow but nothing is going to stop the global platform that is android

  26. batemanj:

    i think the iPhone guys are missing one important point, that is currently Rim, Apple and Android phones are expensive. within the next few years (thanks to google) prices of these devices will crash. if the success of the phone is the apps / games then the best selling OS will win. Also at the rate things are going parents would be mad buying their kids a hand held games console when you will be able to buy a cheap powerful enough Androud device.

  27. Jack stevens:

    This Iphone, droid & bb debate is pretty funny. Its funny how each side is so thoroughly in favor of their own phone. Having been an owner of all three, I definitely know which one is superior. Bb is out cuz their features are mainly for email. It was a great company phone but keyboards are now unnecessary and the web is inferior. The iphone 4 was the best until the droid x and my touch 4g came out. I loved my iphone 4 but the antenna problems, dropped calls, slowness of the internet and numerous times I lost data on mobile me (@$99yr, no less) made me move over to the droid. I do not miss my iphone one bit. The 4g is in credibly fast, so is swyping. My 4g cost $80 with a 2 yr plan. I never lose data on google’s cloud. Nav on the droid is better on the droid than my own cars. I spend half the cost on t-mo compared to att per mo. I looked at the verizon iphone 4 but won’t buy cuz no 4g, would still have to buy unreliable mobile me at $99/ yr for me to make sure I can save data on the fly. I will look at the iphone 5 when it comes out but my droid will be hard to beat.

    In my personal opinion, iphone will not be able to keep up with droid. All the innovative products seem to be coming on the droid side now. @CES it was all about droid. I can’t wait to see the new sony xperia play. With new droid’s coming out in 8 months time vs iphone’s 12 months, droid appears to be advancing much faster.

  28. Jack stevens:

    Also, new tablets based upon droid’s new 3.0 operating system looks exciting. I may have to sell my joss too. We’ll see how the new ipad 2 will be. Pretty good battle goin on tho.

  29. axd:

    lol, to all you experts like Jack stevens i have some news for you: “4G” technology does not exist today, period. All of you talking about 4G, you are all… funny people.

  30. inflatable playhouse:

    #youaintfromdetroit if you aint never seen a rented bounce house on the front lawn

  31. Ouida Buhler:

    It — is improbable!

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