Instapaper sales show slow Verizon iPhone adoption from new customers

Verizon iPhone launch

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.

Radio Shack knocks $50 off its iPhones

Radio Shack.

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.

Source: BGR

T-Mobile sells an iPhone cable

T-Mobile iPhone cable.

What’s this? Oh hello iPhone cable with T-Mobile branding. A tipster sent this to Engadget, but, as Engadget points out, T-Mobile did just make an ad that digs at FaceTime and AT&T’s network, all in the same breath. It’s a weird set of circumstances, but you’d have to think T-Mobile would be happy if it got to sell the iPhone.

iPhone sales growth nearly halts

iPhone handset sales.It’s funny how one success story can send the world into a frenzy. The iPhone has been an undisputed success, gobbling up market share by the full percentage point. It’s not unstoppable, though. As the latest comScore stats show, actually, sales growth is nearly nonexistent.

Let’s start with the good news, though. Apple is sitting at 25% market share – an incredible number for such a young presence in the market. This is the number that had everyone scared. The bad news for Apple is that it has stopped growing. Relative to the market, the last three months have only been up .3% for Apple. Compare that to RIM who’s up 1.7% on its 41.3% market share in October of last year. Android more than doubled in the last three months, granted only from 2.8% to 7.1% but that is still massive growth.

Part of the problem is no doubt that Apple has conditioned the world to believe every summer will bring a new iPhone. If that’s not the case in 2010, we might see some very stagnant iPhone numbers before year’s end.

Source: comScore

Google pays Apple more than $100 million annually for iPhone search

Jobs and Schmidt.Rumors have been flying ever since Android launched that Apple will be replacing the search giant’s services on the iPhone. The latest, which seems completely ridiculous for a reason, is that Apple is going to build a search engine. The Business Insider says the biggest reason to keep Google on is that the search provider pays Apple upwards of $100 million a year for the iPhone deal.

For a company like Apple, $100 million isn’t exactly a lot. It’s more like mortgage payment, but it’s enough to keep Apple from entering an already saturated search market. There’s no denying that Google and Apple now have a contentious relationship. As Business Insider has it, it only took two weeks to nail down the original Google Maps deal for the iPhone. When the 3GS launched it took six months.

Source: Business Insider at Gizmodo

iPhone tops the 10 most popular phones in the US

iPhone beats out everybody else.The Nielsen Company has released the top performers in the tech sector for 2009. Among the company’s lists is the cell phone chart, at the top of which sits the iPhone.

I know. I was shocked, too. Below that it’s the Blackberry 8300 series. Again, a pretty big surprise. The two most popular phones in the states this year are actual smartphones. Perhaps most surprising of all was the number three spot: the Motorola RAZR. I don’t know if people just aren’t resubbing, so they don’t replace their out-of-date phones, or if there just weren’t enough smartphone options on Verizon, the nation’s network of choice.

Whatever the case, the RAZR is still hanging around in big numbers, but it’s getting beat out by the smartphone explosion. Manufacturers take note: people want mobile web access, so much so that the smartphone sector is finally beating the pants off feature phones.


Apple to open 40-50 stores next year

Apple store.On the heels of an insane earnings report and just prior to another store opening, Apple announced today that it would open 40-50 retail locations in 2010. The announcement was part of a speech in which senior VP of retail, Ron Johnson, said the company expects a solid holiday season.

I’d imagine so. The $1.6 billion mobile profits report blew everyone away (especially Nokia). The retail stores continue to grow with the mobile business, up 7 percent from last year and sporting $1.87 billion in profits last quarter alone. That’s a big pile of cash for a company whose yearly profits were closer to $5 billion just over a decade ago.

The new retail stores are mostly headed outside the US. Plans have already been made for new stores in London, Paris, and two in Shanghai. The newest stateside store will open on Saturday on the upper west side of Manhattan.

Apple Floats Through a Tough Quarter

Apple is shining bright.Apple’s giving the recession the finger as they coast through their fiscal Q3 with massive earnings. Everyone expected them to post big earnings from new iPhone sales, but most folks put Mac in a slump. In fact, a lot of analysts expected the company as a whole to be down on last year’s earnings. Instead, Apple blew past last year’s figures to post some relatively impressive numbers.

One the whole, they’re up 13% over fiscal Q3 of last year. How’d they get there? Well, they sold 5.2 million iPhones this quarter, a solid 7 times what they sold in the same period last year. Overall you’re talking about a $1.23 billion net profit, compared to a meager $1.07 billion from last year.

Even the Mac line, where analysts predicted Apple would be slowest (and ineed they were) is up 4% in sales numbers over last year. Revenues from Mac are down 8 percent though, as the company lowered prices in this quarter to shore up sales in the face of competitive advertising and falling educational sales.

The company’s most impressive figure was their new iPhone/iPod touch installed base, which is sitting somewhere around 45 million. That’s a massive base for a wildly popular device, particularly in such a short period of time. And we can only expect that number to grow. Apple plans to have an iPhone in China within a year.

The letdown of this story? No appearance from Jobs, who has yet to show up publicly since his return. Granted, this was a conference call earnings report, but still, it would be nice to…hear him?

Source: Reuters

iPhone 3GS Breaks AT&T Sales Records

iPhone 3GS in black and white.Apple and AT&T took more than two months to sell the first million iPhones. The iPhone 3GS matched those numbers in just three days, making it the biggest sales weekend for AT&T, ever. AT&T celebrated the milestone with…a company wide memo. Yay?

We still don’t have any hard and fast numbers on the 3GS, and we won’t really until Apple releases their quarterly earnings information. AT&T said they sold “hundreds of thousands” of phones through pre-orders, but there’s still no official word from either camp.

Here’s the full text of the memo:

iLaunch day 2009 was one for the record books, as AT&T customers scrambled to get their hands on the fastest, most powerful iPhone yet.

Here’s a look at some of the milestones we achieved:

* Best-ever sales day in our retail stores
* Second-largest traffic day in our retail stores
* Most transactions processed via our IT systems in a single day
* Most upgrade eligibility checks in a single day
* Largest order day in history
* Largest features sales day in history

On this year’s launch day, iPhone sales exceeded sales recorded on 2008’s iPhone launch day, Black Friday 2008 and Dec. 26, 2008–all heavy-volume sales days. In fact, this year we surpassed 2008’s launch day sales at about noon Central time, and sustained our previous peak hour record, also set in 2008, for 11 straight hours.

Source: AllThingsD