AT&T may have not been damaged by the loss of iPhone exclusivity; but that certainly doesn't mean its archrival Verizon didn't benefit from gaining the popular smartphone.
In its first quarter earnings, Verizon said it added 906,000 subscribers to new contracts, doubling their total from the year ago quarter. This was 14 times as much as AT&T, which gained 62,000 new customers in the latest quarter, down 90 percent.
Most of that was due to the company gaining the iPhone. According to Verizon, 2.2 million alone were activated in the first quarter. The majority of those were upgrades, but roughly a quarter were new customers.
Even better for Verizon, the company expects the numbers might actually go up in the second quarter, or at the worst will stay flat. Verizon chief financial officer Fran Shammo said he doesn't expect the numbers to drop off.
It's important to realize that when we launched the iPhone, initially we only launched it through our direct channel and a couple of major retailers. And then in the beginning of March we launched it to the rest of our national retailers and some of our regional retailers, and we really weren't 100 percent out there with the distribution until mid-March, said Shammo.
The company reported 51 cents in earnings per share in first-quarter 2011 or $1.44 billion in profit, compared with first-quarter 2010 earnings of 16 cents per share or $443 million in profit. It had revenue of $27.0 billion, an increase of 0.3 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. These numbers beat analyst expectations of 50 cents a share and revenue off $26.86 billion.
The company's stock was down 2.33 percent to $36.91 from $37.81 due to lower margins as more customers switched to smartphones, which are more expensive to make. Also, some of the company's other businesses, such as its wireline and wholesale departments, saw a decrease in revenues.