Verizon Wireless Doubles iPhone Sales

By Josh Long Comments

Verizon Wireless more than doubled its number of iPhone sales in the fourth quarter.

Fran Shammo, chief financial officer of Verizon Communications, said at a Citigroup conference that the wireless giant sold 4.2 million iPhones in the fourth quarter.

Verizon Wireless only sold 2 million iPhones in the third quarter ending Sept. 30, 2011, before Apple introduced the iPhone 4S – a model that features Siri, an intelligent personal assistant that can recognize natural speech. AT&T, which has been selling the iPhone since 2007 and is Verizon's biggest competitor, activated 2.7 million Apple smartphones in the third quarter.

Shammo also revealed that iPhone sales will narrow gross margins at Verizon Wireless by 500 to 600 basis points, Bloomberg reported.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple on Wednesday noted the iPhone 4S will be available in China and 21 other countries on Friday, Jan. 13. "Customer response to our products in China has been off the charts," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. "With the launch in China next week, iPhone 4S will be available in over 90 countries making this our fastest iPhone rollout ever."

Some analysts believe China could represent one of the biggest growth engines for Apple and the iPhone. In the fiscal year ending Sept. 24, net sales in the Asia Pacific segment rose $14.3 billion or 174 percent, and Apple reported particularly strong growth in Greater China. In the 2011 fiscal year, net sales of the iPhone and related products and services totaled $47.1 billion; that figure accounted for 43 percent of Apple's total net sales.

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