Verizon iPhone 5 release date causes "poor" Apple sales?

How many iPhones did Verizon sell on Day One? what does "record sales" actually mean? Observers didn't see big lines at Apple stores, so are speculating that users are waiting for the iPhone 5 release date to lock themselves in for 24 months.

iPhone (Apple)
By Richi Jennings. February 14, 2011.

The Verizon iPhone hasn't been selling well, some say. Is it because people are waiting for the Apple iPhone 5 release date, or are perceptions misleading? In IT Blogwatch, bloggers count the pinhead-balancing angels.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention Real Superheroes...


Harry McCracken starts a rumor:

I went to my local Apple Store [Friday] night, in the wake of yesterday’s release of the Verizon iPhone 4. ... I commented on the lack of Verizon-induced insanity to a salesguy. “We’re surprised ourselves,” he said. ... There are supposed to be hordes of folks willing to show up at the crack of dawn and wait for hours. ... Everybody knows that. But this time, it didn’t happen. ... Why the startling degree of normalcy? A few theories...


People are waiting for the iPhone 5. ... You might decide to bide your time just a few months more to see what Apple releases this summer. ... The years of buildup to the release of the Verizon iPhone 4 make a wait of just a few months more ... seem like nothing.

  Scot Finnie agrees, adding more possibilities:

For one thing, the next version of the iPhone is expected to be released this year (probably this summer). ... And there are more issues. The Verizon iPhone doesn't support voice and data operations simultaneously. Plus, competition from Android-based smartphones is fierce, and they're evolving rapidly.


The newest version of the iPhone 4 is slightly improved because of its antenna design, and you're going to love the connection strength and reliability. If you've been hankering for an iPhone but have refused to go with AT&T -- and don't want to wait for the upcoming iPhone 5 -- the Verizon iPhone 4 is the clear choice.

But Michael Fowlkes thinks the store lines "could be deceiving":

Some analysts had expected to see some long lines, but they did not materialize, creating the impression that the launch was less than successful. ... In most locations there were no lines at all! How could this be? ... A huge number of customers had already pre-ordered the Verizon iPhone to avoid waiting in long lines, and it seems to have worked out perfectly.


Verizon did not release specific sales figures for February 3, but it did state that it was the "most successful first day sales in the history of the company." ... It is estimated that Verizon probably sold around 1 million iPhones during the launch, with many more sales coming on the horizon. ... Extreme cold weather probably kept some potential buyers at home. ... There are also plenty of buyers out there that will just hold off and wait for a new iPhone to hit the market ... in July.

Andrew Lipsman puckers up:

On February 3, 2011, Verizon and Apple began accepting pre-orders. ... That day alone, millions of people visited, with 38% visiting the Verizon iPhone pre-order page. Of those visiting the pre-order page, 39% actually completed a pre-order transaction – an astounding conversion rate.

And Greg Sterling notes some other data:

In just over 48 hours since its public launch the Verizon iPhone in the US is responsible for 3.6% of the traffic that Chitika is seeing on its network. ... Research director Dan Ruby estimated that the traffic was coming from roughly 900K Verizon iPhones.


It's hard to know how much the "inside baseball" rumors and tech coverage permeates the public consciousness. But it appears that some people are waiting for the next iPhone. Certainly I'm not going to buy an iPhone 4 on Verizon when iPhone 5 is probably coming in a few months.

But Thompson doesn't exactly seem fond of Ruby's methodology:

Is your methodology superior to that of the iPad counter [you] did last year? Because that thing sucked.

And Finally...

6 ordinary REAL people who developed sci-fi superpowers overnight

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon