Steve Kovach for Business Insider:
That means (if we’re being conservative) at least 80% of all smartphones sold through AT&T, the second largest carrier in the U.S., were iPhones. The rest were Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, or whatever else is out there.
Now let’s look at Verizon’s earnings last earnings report for the same quarter. Verizon, the largest carrier in the U.S., sold 6.2 million iPhones out of a total of 9.8 million smartphones. That means the iPhone made up 63% of Verizon’s smartphone sales.
This is not some survey of a few thousand people. This is not data extrapolated from ad impressions across a vague number of devices. This is sales data. It does not lie. On the two largest carriers in the U.S., the iPhone dominated last quarter.
You can argue about whether that’s important or not. But clearly, when Apple launches a new iPhone in the U.S., it sells a lot of new iPhones — even more than the plethora of Android options combined. (A trend which has continued for a few years now.) Which suggests one of two things:
1) People buy an insane amount of iPhones in the U.S. because of the subsidy model. Verizon and AT&T (and now Sprint, and it looks like T-Mobile soon as well) allow you to get one for $299, $199, $99, or free. Those price points matter a lot, and they would matter in other countries as well.
2) The U.S. market is just different. For some reason, consumers in the U.S. want iPhones even when those in other countries do not as much.
If the first point is indeed the case, it’s a hell of argument for a lower priced phone without subsidy. It’s suggests that it’s not that people don’t want iPhones, it’s that they want new iPhones at good prices.
The data is also a pretty good argument as to why Apple may want to speed up the release cycle of new iPhones. (Though such a move would undoubtedly dampen the yearly “bulge” in sales.)