Verizon's quarterly results, released on Friday just after AT&T's, give us yet another look at how the iPhone is doing across both networks. They seem to continue to show that Verizon iPhone 4 sales are lagging despite the considerable amount of hype surrounding its launch.
In the second quarter, Verizon activated 2.3 million iPhones, far fewer than the 3.6 million that AT&T activated during the same period. To be fair, AT&T is selling two models right now: The current iPhone 4 as well as the 3GS, which is now available for $49.
A Somewhat Unfair Comparison
I've heard quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that despite its age, the 3GS continues to sell quite well--probably because of its price. It's somewhat unfortunate that we don't have a breakdown here by model: it give us a clearer picture of just how Verizon is doing.
For this fact, I'd caution anyone from jumping to conclusions just yet on the performance of Apple's iconic smartphone on Verizon. We should expect AT&T to outperform its competition just because of its sales advantage. Depending on how Apple decides to handle the release of the next iPhone in September, that may continue.
There have been quite a bit of rumors floating around that the 3GS could live on as a prepay device in developing markets as Apple looks to continue to expand its reach. If the 3GS indeed does escape the axe, I couldn't see why AT&T couldn't potentially offer three iPhone models.
How AT&T Could Boost iPhone Sales
Think of it this way. The iPhone 5 (or 4S, or whatever its going to be called) will be the top-of-the-line phone, for those that need the latest and greatest. The iPhone 4 would take the 3GS' current spot as the device for those looking for an iPhone, yet can't afford the $200 that the new model would cost.
AT&T could offer the 3GS through its own prepay channels, as well as a free device for those really tight on the pocketbook. Of course, this all depends on whether or not its true that Apple still sees life in the now two-year old device. That, according to some bloggers, may be questionable.