Verizon Doubles iPhone Sales in Q4 to 4.2 Million Units

Verizon Wireless more than doubled its iPhone sales during the December quarter, as the company sold some 4.2 million units during the holiday season. Fran Shammo, CFO of Verizon Communications, announced the news at a Citigroup event held Wednesday in San Francisco, according to Bloomberg.

Piles of iPhone Cash

Mr. Shammo said that the accomplishment will lower the company’s margins by 500 to 600 basis points (five percent to six percent). That’s a heavy hit to margins, and it is due to the higher subsidies carriers must pay to Apple compared to most other smartphones and cellphones. The investment is generally expected to pay off over time with higher revenues for data usage.

In the third quarter, as mentioned above, Verizon sold some 2 million iPhones, while AT&T sold 2.7 million. AT&T has yet to announce its iPhone sales for the December quarter, but The Mac Observer exclusively reported on December 30th that the company had sold 981,000 units in its retail stores in the first 27 days of December alone.

Those number exclude sales of the device through Apple Stores, retailers such as Best Buy, and even AT&T’s own authorized resellers, suggesting that AT&T could beat even Verizon’s outstanding iPhone results. AT&T will announce quarterly results later in January.

Apple has also not released its quarterly results, but is scheduled to do so on January 24th. The company is expected to turn in a record quarter driven in part by high sales of the iPhone 4S, which was released in the first few days of the quarter.

What remains to be seen is how well Android devices also did during the quarter. It should be a record quarter for that platform, as well, and we can expect dueling numbers and a lot of mainstream attention on the battle between the platforms as industry players begin releasing their numbers throughout the month of January.

Shares in VZ declined on Wednesday, ending the day at $39.21 per share, down $0.52 (-1.31%), on heavy volume of 28 million shares trading hands. Shares in AT&T (T) rose to $30.43, up $.050 (+0.16%), on heavy volume of 37 million shares.

AAPL also ended the day higher at $413.44, up $2.21 (+0.54%), on moderate volume of 9.2 million shares.