Verizon sells 1M iPhone 4s in first weekend, report says

Some buyers didn't wait for LTE version, which may not arrive until the iPhone 6 in 2012

Verizon Wireless sold more than 1 million iPhone 4 devices at the end of the first weekend of sales in February, according to a report from The that combined a top executive's comment with analyst estimates.

Verizon officials wouldn't confirm that the 1 million threshold was passed, but spokeswoman Brenda Raney said Tuesday, "We're not commenting on how many iPhones we sold, but we will say we are pleased with sales."

In comparison, AT&T reportedly sold 1.7 million iPhone 4 devices at the end of its first weekend last year.

The 1 million mark should definitely please Verizon, partly because it shows buyers were not putting off a purchase until Apple announces its next version, the iPhone 5, probably in June.

It also reverses concerns that Verizon's first day of iPhone sales, on Feb. 10, brought out modest crowds rather than the long lines seen previously for iPhone sales.

Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead reportedly said that 60% of the company's early iPhone sales were based on pre-orders, explaining why demand was light on launch day. When his comment was combined with earlier analyst estimates that 600,000 iPhone 4s were pre-ordered, in record time, the report in concluded that 1 million iPhones were sold by the end of the first weekend.

Some potential iPhone customers might have delayed buying a Verizon iPhone 4, based on hopes of an LTE-capable iPhone 5 coming sometime in the summer. However, the also quoted an analyst who cited sources saying an LTE version won't be coming to Verizon until sometime in 2012 and with the iPhone 6.

Sam Greenholtz, an analyst at Telecom Pragmatics, is the one who mined that little nugget from unnamed sources, telling, "The next iPhone -- the iPhone 6 -- is an LTE version under development now with production aimed for June/July launch next year."

Verizon wouldn't comment Tuesday on when an LTE version might be coming, and Apple didn't respond to a question on the matter. HTC, Motorola and LG are already preparing LTE phones running Android for release this spring on Verizon, the carrier and the cell-phone makers have said.

A wide number of reports say the iPhone 5 will come to AT&T in June or July, and to Verizon possibly later this year or early 2012.

Observers expect the iPhone 5 to have a larger screen, perhaps 4 in., and a dual-core processor, similar to those of Android devices coming this spring.

The iPhone 5 would be able to run on both Verizon's CDMA/EV-DO 3G network, and the HSPA+ network from AT&T, which it calls 4G. As such, it would be able to work in nearly every country.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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