Verizon announced on its September quarter results conference call that it had activated 7.5 million smartphones and that 51% of them or 3.9 million were iPhones. This is the same number of activations as the June quarter when Apple AAPL +0.68% sold 31.2 million iPhones. (Note that my family and I own Apple shares).
In the September 2012 quarter Verizon activated 6.8 million smartphones and 46% or 3.1 million of them were iPhones. The 3.1 million iPhones were also 11.5% of iPhones sold in the quarter.
If Verizon’s 11.5% percentage were to be the same in the September 2013 quarter then Apple would have sold 33.5 million iPhones. However, Apple launched the iPhone 5c and 5s in China and additional carriers such as NTT DoCoMo in Japan which could have sold an additional 3 million iPhones. There should also be some channel fill of the iPhone 5c which helps September quarter unit sales.
I have estimated that Apple sold 36.3 million iPhones in the quarter which would put Verizon’s percentage of iPhones at 10.7%. I have developed a Google GOOG -1.03% Doc that has tracked Apple’s iPhone sales and Verizon’s activations since the March 2011 quarter when Verizon first started to carry the iPhone. It shows the total number of smartphones activated, the number of iPhones and the percentage of Verizon activations to iPhone unit sales. We may get another read on Apple’s iPhone sales when AT&T T +0.7% reports on October 23. Apple reports its results on October 28.
Not surprisingly Verizon’s CFO Fran Shammo said on the call that “We did encounter iPhone supply constraints that created a backlog at the end of September, which resulted in some carryover to the fourth quarter.” I have been tracking the iPhone 5s lead-times which are still typically showing 2 to 8 week shipment delays.