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Just because there weren’t long lines at Verizon (s vz) and Apple (s aapl) stores when the iPhone 4 launched on Verizon’s network Feb. 10 doesn’t mean the device didn’t sell well. According to estimates made based on recent comments by Verizon CEO Dan Mead, sales of the iPhone 4 may have exceeded 1 million during its introductory weekend.
Here’s how the math works out: According to The Street, recent analyst estimates put Verizon pre-orders at around the 600,000 mark. Mead said this weekend talking to press that pre-orders accounted for 60 percent of total iPhone 4 sales at launch. That means 1 million total devices potentially flew off the shelves during the debut, with even more sold during the following weeks. Verizon plans to announce actual sales figures when it reveals its first-quarter earnings in April.
In comparison, AT&T (s t) sold 1.7 million during the first three days of the original iPhone 4 launch in June of last year. Verizon’s totals may not match AT&T’s success, but remember the iPhone 4 has already been on market for more than half a year now, and many customers may be unwilling to buy when a new model is expected for a June release.
Mead also revealed Apple has plans in mind for LTE — Verizon’s next-generation mobile broadband technology — but he declined to give any more specific information. Analyst predictions have LTE on track for a sixth-generation iPhone device, but not for the one we’ll see released this summer. That timeline makes sense, given Apple’s propensity to wait until a technology is more or less widely adopted and stable before introducing it to its products.
Even without LTE, the iPhone 5 will be the device launch to watch in terms of truly gauging the relative success of Apple’s smartphone on both Verizon and AT&T, since it’ll likely be available simultaneously on both networks. AT&T, meanwhile, looks to be hedging its bets with alternative connected devices.
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