Instapaper sales show slow Verizon iPhone adoption from new customers
There was such a clamor leading up to the Verizon iPhone launch that you’d think it would be the only thing the world is talking about. Instead, it’s been pretty quiet since the launch, which has everyone wondering, how good was the launch?
If you see things how Marco Arment, founder of the popular Instapaper app for multiple mobile platforms, the Verizon iPhone is selling mostly to existing iPhone customers. Arment used the sales of his own application, which are historically fairly steady, to analyze the current level of Verizon iPhone sales.
Here are the basics from his blog:
Since my ranks rarely change significantly, the resulting sales volumes seem to track the entire App Store’s volume. In other words, since my rank is held mostly constant, but my sales vary, it’s reasonable to extrapolate that trends in my sales indicate approximate trends in the entire App Store market.
The results are fairly obvious: I see huge spikes whenever there’s a new iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad released, whenever they become available in a major new country, or whenever there’s a major reason for people to buy a lot of them (like the holidays).
Arment hasn’t seen any spikes surrounding the Verizon iPhone release, though. In fact, things have been surprisingly moderate. Arment’s own theory about slow adaptation among Verizon customers seems spot on to me. He thinks most of early adapters are the hardcore smartphone nerds. These are the people that wait in lines and stay up until 3AM to pre-order. These are people who put up with AT&T just so they could have the iPhone.
The next wave of iPhone owners are the casuals – people who have seen the phone and liked it but aren’t in any real hurry to buy one. Casual users always take longer to adapt new tech and the Verizon iPhone won’t likely be an exception.
Verizon to get the iPhone this Tuesday
According to the Wall Street Journal, Verizon is indeed finally going to get the iPhone on Tuesday. Yes, these are the same people that have said Verizon would have the phone months and months ago, but it looks like the stars have finally aligned and we’ll see the iPhone on Big Red this week.
Just so everyone is clear, this is a CDMA version of the phone. You will not be able to port your AT&T phone to Verizon. If you’re looking to sell your phone to subsidize your transfer, you better list that thing today. I’d imagine we’ll see a glut of GSM iPhones hit Craigslist and eBay over the next couple days.
John Gruber at Daring Fireball has again nailed down the reason the event on Tuesday will be hosted by Verizon in New York and not Apple in California. This isn’t really an Apple event. While Apple will make a metric shit-ton of money off the deal, you can’t really ask Steve Jobs to get on stage and say, “Hey, look how magical this network is on the same phone you’ve had for six months. No no, nothing’s different about the phone. Just the network. That’s all.”
Radio Shack knocks $50 off its iPhones
Radio Shack made an announcement this weekend that it would sell the Apple line of iPhone for $50 off the retail price, the only condition being that you’re eligible for a two-year commitment. The discount applies to all current iPhone models, so you can get the 3GS for $49.99, the 16GB iPhone 4 for $149.99, and the 32GB iPhone 4 for $249.99.
On top of that discount, Radio Shack runs a Trade & Save program that allows you to trade in 3G and 3GS models for an additional discount. The phones have to be in good working condition and can’t be unlocked.
As far as I know, this about the best deal you can manage on a new iPhone.
More reasons Apple should release a Verizon iPhone soon
A few days back I wrote about the impetus for a Verizon iPhone launch in early 2011, mostly citing John Gruber from Daring Fireball. NPD just gave us a little information that could very well serve as more evidence of the impending release. The iOS market is actually shrinking, while Android is exploding. You don’t have to be a genius to see how a Verizon iPhone could change that, or at least help Apple’s position.
It’s not that Apple isn’t doing well – its market cap proves that it is – but Android is on so many more handsets now. From Peter Kafka at AllThingsD:
So how did Android gain share? Because it’s on so many other new phones. Canned quote from NPD’s Ross Rubin: “The HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Droid X, and other new high-end Android devices have been gaining momentum at carriers that traditionally have been strong RIM distributors, and the recent introduction of the BlackBerry Torch has done little to stem the tide.”
White iPhone gets an official delay
This week Apple finally made an official statement regarding the delay of the white iPhone 4 model. It looks like the alternate model won’t be available until spring of next year.
Apple has never said exactly why the white iPhone has been so troublesome to produce. The company has only said the white model was “more challenging to manufacture than we originally expected.”
Rumors about the white iPhone have been on Apple-focused blogs for months, with explanations ranging from color-matching problems to an issue with the device’s backlight.
Apple didn’t have much to say about the delay, other than, “We’re sorry to disappoint customers waiting for the white iPhone again.” Thanks.