Verizon sold 2.9 million LTE devices in Q1 2012, 42% of upgrades being first-time smartphone buyers

April 19, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka



Verizon had yet another strong sales period in Q1 2012. Today’s quarterly earnings report revealed that Verizon Wireless had a net addition of 734,000 new subscriptions, bringing the total number of customers to 93 million.

Many of those customers are new to the smartphone business. According to its quarterly report, 47 percent of Verizon customers now have a smartphone. That’s up from the 43.5 percent reported last year. Of all subscribers who were upgrading, 42 percent are first-time smartphone buyers. That’s a considerable amount of growth, but which platform are those buyers choosing: iPhone or Android?

On the surface, it looks like Apple’s operating system is probably outpacing Google’s. Verizon declined to breakdown which OS sold more during its earnings call, but the carrier said it sold 6.3 million smartphones in Q1 2012. There were 2.9 million 4G LTE devices, including tablets. With the exception of the new iPad that was released in mid-March, only Android products run LTE on Verizon’s network, and Verizon stopped releasing 3G Android phones. We can then assume that Verizon most likely sold more iPhones than Android-powered phones.

UPDATE: Verizon activated 3.2 million iPhones in Q1 2012.

Speaking of LTE, Verizon continues to be the leading carrier in the U.S. Verizon’s 4G LTE network now serves 200 million people in 230 markets, covering more than two-thirds of the population. Big Red added several new markets to its coverage map today.

Verizon Wireless introduced five new 4G LTE devices in the first quarter 2012:  the Droid 4 and Droid Razr Maxx by Motorola, the Spectrum and Lucid by LG, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7.  In addition, the Apple iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G became available from Verizon Wireless in mid-March.