Verizon Activated 2.2 Million iPhones in Q1

Underscoring why Verizon Wireless made such an aggressive push to secure rights to sell Apple's iPhone, the wireless carrier today announced activation figures for the coveted smartphone, saying it turned on service for 2.2 million iPhone devices in the first quarter alone. What's more, Verizon said the iPhone 4 produced the most successful first-day sales in the company's history when it was introduced in February to existing customers.

"In a period of less than eight weeks, we activated 2.2 million iPhones, and in two weeks, we activated more than 260,000 of our first 4G LTE smartphone, the HTC ThunderBolt, at the premium price of $249.99," Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said during a conference call with analysts. "In addition, we added about 250,000 4G Internet devices to our retail postpaid base in the quarter and quickly sold out iPad 2 tablets in early March, so we built good momentum throughout the quarter."

Verizon also disclosed a 6.3 percent year-over-year increase in wireless service revenues in Q1 2011, with data revenues up 22.3 percent.  By comparison, rival AT&T saw a 10.2 percent revenue growth in the wireless sector and activated 3.6 million iPhones in the same time period.