Last year, Verizon bought $3.6 billion worth of spectrum, and now it's finally making use of it: its LTE coverage just got three times faster in some big cities.
The Moto X is now on sale at Verizon for as low a price as you’re likely to see. Motorola’s flagship phone is available on Amazon for Verizon customers in black or white for only a penny. If you want to customize your phone, though, you’ll still have to pay the regular $99.99 for the Moto X on Verizon. This offer comes two days after Verizon ended its half-off deal on the Moto X for $49.99. Since it’s on Verizon, the Moto X will be able to upgrade to the latest version of Android, KitKat right away, which Motorola released yesterday. While this deal won’t save you much money over the course of a two-year contract, it’s still a great deal for one of the best Android phones out there.
Verizon Wireless, once the gold standard for LTE, has admitted that it is struggling to keep up with demand in the big cities – with some users being dropped down to slower 3G speeds. The carrier’s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said yesterday:
There are certain pockets where we’re absolutely going to experience that down tick from the LTE network down to 3G because of capacity constraints …
Verizon moved into LTE ahead of other carriers, and now has the largest network with the greatest number of LTE customers. This partly explains why the company is struggling: one third of its customers are using LTE devices, but they account for almost two-thirds of the carrier’s total data usage.
Informal tests by the WSJ across three locations showed that while Verizon wasn’t the fastest in any of them, its consistent performance did put it in second place – and it lost out to AT&T only because of the massive difference in speed recorded in NYC.
Verizon Wireless came in second, averaging 16.7 mbps, well above its promised range of 5 to 12 mbps. Verizon wasn’t No. 1 in any of the test locations, but it was the most consistent performer, clustering between 15 and 18.6 mbps.
Oddly, Verizon said it was taken by surprise by the growth in video traffic from LTE users, when mobile video has always been advertised as one of the key benefits of the faster data standard. The company did, however, say that it expects the issues to be short-lived.
“By the end of this year you are going to see all those issues dissipate,” Shammo said. “And then going into next year we will be ahead of the curve again.”
Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: 3G, 4G, AT&T, CNET, LTE, LTE carriers, LTE speeds, New York City, Verizon, Verizon Communications, Verizon Wireless
The Apple Online Store has just come back online after about two hours of downtime in preparation for the iPad Air launch in the United States. All four major carriers are also offering the fifth-generation iPad on their own stores.
The iPad Air is the newest version of Apple’s iconic tablet. The latest model features the same 64-bit A7 processor found in the new iPhone 5s, improved cameras, and a new form factor that’s thinner and lighter than the previous generation. It ships with Apple’s new iOS 7 software. Pricing starts at $499 for the Wi-Fi model with 16 GB of storage and goes up to $929 for the 128 GB LTE-equipped model.
Unlike the iPhone 5s, which faced supply constraints at launch, Apple is expected to be able to meet demand for the new iPad and is taking steps to ensure that every customer has a chance to get one at their convenience. You should be able to grab one from the Apple Online Store, or through the AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile websites, or certain region carriers.
If you’d rather get one today instead of waiting for it to arrive, you can try your local Apple Store or the carrier outlet of your choice. Bear in mind that even though people have been standing in line at many stores since last night, Apple will hold some of each model for customers later in the day.
There was a lot of confusion yesterday when Verizon’s results were discussed, with more than one commentator confusing activations and sales. For the record, what Verizon announced was that 51 percent of its activations were iPhone, not 51 percent of its phone sales.
If you doubt the importance of this distinction, I have one word for you: T-Mobile. As of 11th April, the carrier had two million iPhone activations. Its iPhone sales as of the same date? Zero: T-Mobile didn’t start selling iPhones until the following day.
The difference between the two numbers is particularly dramatic with high-end handsets like the iPhone …
A low-end handset may well be discarded when its owner upgrades. They buy the replacement: one new sale for the manufacturer, one new activation for the carrier. But iPhones typically remain useful for several generations. There are plenty of people out there still happily using an iPhone 4.
When someone upgrades to their shiny new iPhone 5s, the chances are their iPhone 5 is sold on the used market or passed on to a family member or friend. Perhaps that person passes their old iPhone on to someone else. One new sale for Apple, two or more activations for the carrier(s). Those activations Verizon cites will for sure include a great many older iPhones not sold by the carrier.
This kind of confusion is not unusual. When it comes to smartphone numbers, we frequently see sales numbers of one handset compared to shipment numbers for another, as if they were the same thing.
The same applies to all those supply-chain rumors, telling us that the iPhone or iPad sales are rising or falling based on component production numbers at a single supplier. As Tim Cook has cautioned:
I’d stress that even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret for our overall business. Yields can vary. Supplier performance can vary. There’s an inordinately long list of things that would make any single data point not a great proxy for what’s going on.
Anything other than an official statement from Apple relies on proxies: other stats that provide clues on sales numbers rather than evidence for them. That’s why we’ve seen wildly-varying estimates of the relative sales of the iPhone 5s and 5c.
Of course, when a company reveals as little information as Apple, we can’t escape from the guesstimates. It’s just important to understand what the numbers really are, and what they do and don’t really mean. That’s the context we aim to provide here at 9to5.