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Verizon posts low revenue leading into iPhone launch

Image used with permission by copyright holder

It seems the iPhone can’t come soon enough for Verizon. Today, the wireless carrier posted its quarterly results and they were a bit bland for Wall Street. In the last three months, Verizon’s revenue fell 2.6 percent from last year to $26.4 billion. According to the NY Times, analysts wanted another $0.08 billion to satisfy their expectations. The company posted a net profit of $2.64 billion, much better than last year’s $617 million.

However, Android proved to be a boon to subscriber numbers. VZW added 872,000 new customers during the quarter with 75 percent of those customers purchasing smartphones, mostly Android. And with smartphone sales come data plan sales. Data revenue per person was up 19.3 percent for the quarter. With a number that high, it’s probable that a lot of existing customers upgraded to some sort of data plan during the quarter as well. Verizon Wireless ended the quarter with 87.5 million subscribers. When AT&T debuts its own results at some point this week we’ll know who is currently king of the carriers.

Verizon’s opinion on everything: It’s all rosy. “Verizon ended 2010 with strong results, driven by solid execution across all our businesses,” said Ivan Seidenberg, the chief executive and chairman. “Verizon Wireless produced another quarter of impressive growth, with record-high profitability, as we continue to drive higher smartphone adoption and data use.”

The company has reason to be optimistic. On Feb. 10, 2011, the Apple iPhone 4 will be available for the first time on Verizon Wireless, making it the carrier with the most popular Android and iOS devices, as well as the best reputation for service quality.  It also offers more affordable data to those who consume a lot of it. VZW’s 5GB “Unlimited” plan costs $29.99, while AT&T only offers 2GB for $25 at $10 per additional gigabyte. Many AT&T iPhoners may potentially switch to the new carrier as their contracts come up for renewal.

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Jeffrey Van Camp
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