Has the iPhone Lost Its Luster? The iPhone 5 Only Half of Verizon’s Q4 iPhone Sales

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News Posted: Wed, Jan 23 2013 10:07 AM
Apple can stick to its guns all it wants by refusing to release a lower-cost iPhone model, but at some point, the Cupertino company has to face the reality that the iPhone isn't the trend-setting device it once was. Remember when the iPhone was a status symbol and the coolest handset on the block? Now it's merely a symbol of someone who's invested in iOS, because unlike before, there are plenty of awesome alternatives to choose from.

Let's look at Verizon's fourth quarter results. Verizon sold a record number of iPhones in Q4, a clear indication that they're still wildly popular. However, only half of them were the latest iPhone 5 model. Why would so many smartphone shoppers buy an older model iPhone when the iPhone 5 is a superior device?

iPhone 5

It's all about the Benjamins. Buyers were clearly influenced by price drops on older model handsets, most of which didn't see a compelling reason to spend more on an iPhone 5. Apple can take that information and do one of two things.

Number one, Apple could give users what they apparently want: a lower cost iPhone. It's been rumored that this is already in the works, though one senior exec at Apple has since insisted that a lower cost iPhone would "never be the future of Apple products."

Option two, then, is to build a better iPhone, one that trumps the competition in nearly every way so that buyers will be compelled to spend more on the latest and greatest. There has to be significant separation between the next iPhone model and the iPhone 5, or smartphone shoppers are just going to keep investing in older hardware. Or jump ship to Android.
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ChanHol replied on Wed, Jan 23 2013 12:53 PM

"Why would so many smartphone shoppers buy an older model iPhone when the iPhone 5 is a superior device?"

Well, for me, I NEEDED a handset, and the iPhone 5 was a 3-week wait. The choice was easy: the iPhone 4s was far better than the Android offerings, so I bought a 4s. Perhaps one the 5s comes out, I'll buy the upgrade.

It's important to note here that VZ sold as many OLD iPhones as it did all Android models combined!

VZ sold 3.1MM iP5, 3.1MM old iPhones and 3.3 Android devices, all models, all manufacturers, combined.

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Dave M replied on Wed, Jan 23 2013 1:05 PM

The problem is not the phone. The problem is that the service providers have gotten greedy. The average monthly plan with data is too expensive for what you get. Smart phones like the iPhone 5 really need an unlimited data plan. And those plans are virtually extinct. I still have my old Android smartphone, with my grandfathered Verizon unlimited data plan. If I get a new phone, my unlimited data plan goes away. Why would I ever get a new phone??

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Jan 24 2013 9:27 AM
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