The numbers are in for Verizon’s second fiscal quarter of 2011, and from a 4G wireless provider standpoint the market leader is still Sprint by a pretty big margin, since Verizon only added 1.2 million new LTE subscribers during the most-recent fiscal reporting period.
Now 1.2 million devices ain’t shabby — by our unaudited account when added to the half-million previous subscribers that gives Verizon approximately 1.7 million subscribers on either smartphones or portable modems for the 4G LTE network it launched back in December. But that 1.2 million number is well below the 1.6 million 4G smartphones actived by Sprint during Q1, according to more unofficial Sidecut Reports math that put Sprint’s 4G subscriber number somewhere in the 4 million ballpark at the end of Q1.
Thought Sprint is due to report quarterly numbers later this week we probably won’t get a handle on Sprint’s 4G numbers until its network partner Clearwire reports its quarterly earnings in early August, thanks to the kabuki dance Sprint performs by not just coming out and saying how many 4G devices it has sold. But with several new 4G devices launched this year it’s safe to guess that Sprint probably added maybe another million 4G subs during Q2, so Verizon is still way behind in the 4G race after 7 months of playing, by a score of something like 5 million to 1.7 million.
(I guess that is why the world needs analysts and reporters, to sort through the fiscal gymnastics. Since this is free of charge — you’re welcome! Especially all you scraper blogs. Thanks for the traffic.)
While Sidecut Reports wasn’t available to listen in on the call this past week — hey we were part of a great webinar on Thursday, you should listen to it — scouring the transcript of Verizon’s call on Seeking Alpha we didn’t see much “color” from the Verizon execs on 4G numbers. You can begin with Verizon’s reluctance to even break apart its “1.2 million LTE devices” number into segments of how many of those were smartphone subs and how many were LTE modems, either USB modems or the portable Wi-Fi hotspot models.