Photo: Illustration by Business Insider
The big Apple story today is that no one really lined up for the Verizon iPhone launch, unlike every other U.S. iPhone launch ever. (See the photos here and here.)While this is embarrassing for Apple, it’s not that big of a deal in the long run.
Sure, Apple may not be able to put out a press release in a couple of days yelling “ONE MILLION SOLD!” (Or maybe it will — who knows how many mail-order devices were ordered.)
But this is a marathon, not a sprint, and Apple’s long-term business at Verizon should still be strong.
Bear in mind that Apple sold 47.5 million iPhones in 2010, and only 1.7 million of them — 3.6% — were during the 3-day period around the iPhone 4 launch. A huge launch day is good PR, but it’s not everything.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of excuses for today’s short lines you could give — cold weather, pre-orders, a slow time of the year for mobile phone shopping, etc. — but the bottom line is that this one day doesn’t really matter.
It would have been NICE to have a monster opening day, but this is a story of upgrades, and those will take time, as Verizon customers become eligible for them, etc.
Apple’s Verizon sales volume should grow gradually, with elevated periods later this year when the iPhone 5 launches, and especially over the Christmas period.
We remain confident in our estimate of 10 million Verizon iPhones sold this year.