Newsletter Issue #587: Some iPhone Follies

February 28th, 2011

I suppose you could say that Verizon Wireless picked a peculiar time to start selling a CDMA version of the iPhone. After all, the GSM version of the product has been out since last june, which, in the tech universe, is a pretty long time. Besides, since an iPhone 5 is due some time this summer, that spanking new Verizon offering is bound to have a relatively brief shelf life.

At the same time, the media has been all over the issue suggesting that initial sales haven’t been too good. After all, you didn’t have crowds snaking around the block waiting for this Verizon version of the iPhone to arrive at their favorite Apple Store. Yes, there were crowds here and there, but quite manageable. And, unlike AT&T in previous years, Verizon’s activation system had little difficulty managing the setup process.

However, Verizon boss Daniel Mead has since said that the iPhone launch was the largest in the company’s history, bar none. The reason it had all gone so smoothly, he says, is because of a staggered rollout that began days ahead of the availability of the iconic smartphone in retail stores. First Verizon’s own subscribers were allowed to place orders. Indeed, the initial ordering process resulted in a sell-out after just two hours, but the iPhone’s availability resumed soon thereafter.

The actual numbers will be released as a part Verizon’s next quarterly financial report, unless, of course, Apple beats them to the punch. But I’m not suggesting you’ll hear anything about it at this week’s media event, which is expected to focus strictly on the iPad 2 and, perhaps, iOS 5.

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