Apple Needs iPhone 5: Motorola Droid Razr Maxx Outselling 4S at Verizon

**Editor’s Note: Click here for our countdown of the top-selling smartphones in May.**

For the first time since its launch last October, the iPhone 4S might not be the best-selling smartphone at one of the major U.S. carriers that offers Apple‘s iconic device.

Although there aren’t any official numbers yet for 2012’s second quarter, Verizon’s big sales push for 4G LTE devices has been enough for the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx to vault over the iPhone 4S, an analyst at William Blair & Co. wrote in a new research note, according to Barron’s.

Blair’s Anil Doradla just conducted a series of checks at Verizon Wireless retail outlets and determined that “Apple’s momentum [is] under pressure, particularly at Verizon,” because the carrier is adding more LTE-compatible handsets to its lineup. Apple is widely expected to release an LTE iPhone this fall, but until then, it’s at a bit of a disadvantage selling an eight-month-old device that’s only 3G.

“Our checks also indicate that at this stage consumers are not pausing in front of the iPhone launch as it is not influencing their purchasing decisions (but we expect it to start impacting over the next couple of months),” Doradla wrote.

But the news is far from grim for the Silicon Valley giant. Doradla calls the upcoming iPhone 5 (or whatever it will be called) “an important catalyst for the company,” and he fully expects the iPhone to re-stake its claim at the top of the smartphone heap at Verizon Wireless and other carriers if it should lose its No. 1 status there also when the next-gen device is released.

And despite the news, the analyst reiterated an “outperform” rating for Apple stock, saying he’s really not worried that the iPhone will fall from its No. 1 position in North America overall.

Earlier this month, analysts at Canaccord Genuity placed the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx in second position for May behind the iPhone 4S at Verizon.

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