July 22, 2011, 1:36 PM — Lowell McAdam, who will take over from Ivan Seidenberg as chief executive of Verizon on Aug. 1, said during Friday's second-quarter earnings conference call that a delay in Apple's release of the iPhone 5 has caused the carrier to fall "a quarter behind" its smartphone sales targets.
Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) reported Q2 revenue of $27.5 billion, up 2.8 percent from the year-ago quarter, mostly on the strength of 2.2 million new mobile subscribers and an increase in mobile data revenue of 22.2 percent.
(Also see: Verizon posts revenue growth on mobile additions)
But COO McAdam, who will take over as CEO on Aug. 1 when current chief executive Ivan Seidenberg retires, said during the earnings call:
We are probably what I would view as maybe a quarter behind what we had talked about in January, primarily because we expected an iPhone 5 refresh sometime this summer. We don’t know when the next one is going to come out. You will have to ask Apple that. But we expect that probably sometime in the fall, and I think you will see a significant jump there when we get to that point.
Not that Verizon is disappointed with iPhone sales since the company in February became the second carrier (after AT&T) to sell the Apple smartphone. In less than six months Verizon has activated 4.5 million iPhones, including 2.3 million in the second quarter, which ended June 30.
AT&T, in contrast, activated 3.6 million iPhones in Q2. However, and this is significant, Verizon only offers customers the iPhone 4, at a starting price of $199. AT&T sells the iPhone 4 and the older iPhone 3GS, the latter at a bargain price of $49.
Since the release of the first iPhone in 2007, the devices have gone on sale in June or July in the U.S. That's not going to happen with the iPhone 5. Earlier this month CNET UK said the likely release date would be Sept. 7, which is less than seven weeks away.
The device is expected to become available simultaneously at Verizon and AT&T.