Despite its weaker LTE offerings than Verizon, AT&T still sold more iPhones this quarter, per its earnings report, but the margin over its rivals is shrinking. AT&T company moved 4.7 million of Apple's iPhones compared 3.1 million from team Verizon, as that chart from Engadget's Daniel Cooper shows. Those numbers, however, don't include a breakdown of the LTE capable iPhone 5 versus its lesser 3G counterparts, the 4 and the 4S. As people migrate to the 5, logic says they would choose the better data network, which, when it comes to LTE, is Verizon with over 400 LTE markets compared to AT&T's 77. While overall numbers seem to say AT&T still attracts more users, its earnings report suggests that the wireless carrier is ceding control to Verizon.
Unlike its competitor, which cited 651,000 iPhone 5 units sold, AT&T opted not to give an exact sales figure, instead providing the following statement: "Postpaid results were impacted by iPhone 5 inventory constraints which resulted in the vast majority of third-quarter iPhone sales going to existing customers, where there was considerable pent-up demand." Translation: We didn't sell that many iPhone 5s, but it wasn't our fault! The lag was blamed on supply shortages out of China, which Foxconn blamed on Apple's complicated design. Verizon used the same excuse earlier this week. But even so, the company still gave us a figure. It's curious that a week later, AT&T opted not to. Perhaps it's because they sold fewer than 651,000 iPhone 5s? Just a theory.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.