updated 09:35 am EST, Tue January 27, 2009
Verizon Q4 2008 Results
Verizon this morning said it had continued to significantly grow in the fall despite the US economy. The company notes that it had a net boost of 1.2 million new cellphone customers even after factoring in the loss of some customers to Rural Cellular and without including the acquisition of Alltel, which is expected to give Verizon the lead among US carriers. The company has a total 72.1 million users as of the end of 2008 and is up 9.9 percent compared to the year earlier.
The company also says its earnings for all its businesses climbed significantly by 15 percent and says smartphones are playing a significant factor in its cellphone section: about 37 percent of all the cellphones sold at retail are high-end devices, the company noted during its conference call. It also notes that revenue from data plans is up 41.4 percent year over year and that the average revenue per user also grew by 1.4 percent to just under $52, suggesting more expensive plans.
Significantly, however, the company doesn't mention how many BlackBerry Storm units it sold during the fall despite riding much of its holiday sales on the touchscreen smartphone. RIM has said it's shipping 250,000 phones per week but doesn't say how many of those are specifically for Verizon instead of Vodafone, nor does it say how many were delivered in 2008. Unofficial estimates give Verizon about 500,000 Storms in the one month the device was available after software bugs and other delays pushed the release to late November.
AT&T, Sprint and other carriers have yet to publish their data as of press time, though the former's iPhone is expected to significantly outsell the Storm; the Wall Street Journal believes it may top 2.4 million, or more than four times the sales of the BlackBerry.