Mentioned on today’s Verizon earnings call that discussed the company’s financial performance during the second quarter of 2012, Verizon chief financial officer Fran Shammo dropped a hint about the upcoming launch of Apple’s new iPhone later this year. During the call, Shammo stated “the company could be expecting a big phone to launch during the fourth quarter of this year,” but did not specify an exact date when the smartphone would be released. Set to be released sometime between October 1 and December 31, 2012, it’s likely that Apple will release the new smartphone before the holiday shopping season gets into full swing. Possibly following a similar pattern to last year, Apple announced the iPhone 4S on October 4, 2011 and the smartphone went on sale on October 14, 2011 in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
During the second quarter of 2012, Verizon sold approximately 2.7 million iPhones as the wireless service provider carries both the iPhone 4S as well as the iPhone 4. However, that number has dropped since the first quarter of 2012 when Verzion sold 3.2 million iPhones. In addition, Verizon sold 2.9 million Android devices during the second quarter and more than 85 percent of those phones are operating on Verizon’s 4G LTE network.
Beyond the Android smartphones and the iPhone, Verizon sold an additional 300,000 smartphones which were likely Blackberries or smartphones with the Windows Phone operating system. Looking to the third quarter of 2012, it’s likely that sales of Samsung’s Galaxy S III will increase Android’s share of the smartphone market on the major carriers.
Forty percent of the Verizon customers that upgraded their cellular phone during the second quarter moved to a smartphone platform for the first time. In addition, Verizon added nearly 900,000 more postpaid customers to a subscriber base that just broke 94 million. Shammo also claimed that feedback about the Verizon “Share Everything” plan has been positive among customers despite early criticism of the increased costs. The launch of Verizon’s shared data plan also inspired AT&T to launch a similar plan in order to compete more effectively against the wireless service provider.
According to the latest rumor report from BGR, the current version of the Apple’s iPhone 5 is still being tested by groups of engineers. Apple has several stages of development for each version of the iPhone and every stage can last between two to three weeks. This means the company has yet to start production of the final version of the hardware, a process that likely won’t begin until late August or early September. The version of the smartphone that’s currently being tested is rumored to include 1GB of RAM, 4G LTE compatibility as well as NFC hardware.
According to IT Wire, European telecommunication companies are stocking up on nano-SIM cards in preparation of the iPhone 5 launch. While the generally basic functionality of the SIM card is identical, the form factor has been reduced yet again. If Apple does use the new nano-SIM card in the iPhone 5, anyone upgrading to the new smartphone will be required to change their SIM card. In addition, this could make it more difficult to revert to an older smartphone if the iPhone 5 is accidentally broken for any reason.