Did Verizon Finally Sell More 4G Phones Than Sprint? Apparently So

January 24, 2012

It looks like Sprint’s strategic decision to focus on the iPhone has finally allowed Verizon Wireless to sell more 4G phones than Sprint, according to financial numbers released Tuesday. According to Verizon the company sold 1.6 million 4G LTE smartphones during the quarter, as well as another 700,000 4G devices like USB modems and Wi-Fi hotspots. And while Sprint never calls out its 4G numbers its 4G partner Clearwire today pre-announced some Q4 metrics including 900,000 new 4G wholesale activations, which you can pretty much translate into being mostly Sprint 4G smartphones and a small number of other devices, like hotspots and USBs.

(Editor’s note: You won’t find the 4G LTE device breakout numbers in the Verizon press release; the numbers were discussed during the conference call, and a quote with the figures was provided to us by Verizon.)

What’s the 30-second analysis on all this? Sidecut Reports sticks by the premise of our latest report, the 4G LTE Market Report for January, 2012, in which we conclude that 4G LTE phone sales for all providers, including Verizon, are going to stay essentially flat until we see an LTE-capable Apple iPhone hit the market. As proof of the iPhone’s continuing popularity look no farther than Verizon’s Q4 numbers: 4.3 million iPhone activations vs. 1.6 million 4G LTE phone activations. Almost a 3-to-1 preference for the 3G iPhone vs. any 4G LTE choice.

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Sprint Announces Initial LTE Markets; Still Trailing Verizon, AT&T

January 6, 2012

The followers in the Long Term Evolution (LTE) market were active newsmakers this week, first with AT&T’s announcement of new live LTE markets, then with Sprint naming four of the 10 markets it plans to offer LTE in next year. Given that an LTE phone from either AT&T or Sprint is going to be severely limited in its first iterations (due to the limited live markets you could use it in), what is the point of the carriers making LTE noise so far in advance?

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Sprint Rescues Clearwire; Remember, This ‘Failed’ Duo Still Leads 4G Market Race

December 1, 2011

With today’s news about Sprint agreeing to provide $1.6 billion in operating funds to 4G network partner Clearwire, it looks like the death of their pioneering high-speed wireless network will continue to be highly exaggerated.

I would normally spend more time arguing this point, but — with a new project on my hands — I will remain brief here. What I would like to see out of those who cover topics telecom, however, is more sticking to the facts on the ground and less glib comments that only serve to cloud the picture.

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