According to a detailed report from New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin on wireless carriers in the first quarter, fewer people are buying smartphones. This means that wireless carriers as a group will no longer benefit from millions of people upgrading from a feature phone to a smartphone--those who want smartphones already have them, and those who don't most likely won't buy one anytime soon.
T-Mobile US reported that since it started selling Apple's iPhone nationwide April 12 it has sold 500,000 units of the device, an indication of pent-up demand for the gadget at the carrier. T-Mobile made the disclosure in conjunction with the release of its first-quarter results, in which it said its total revenue slipped 7 percent.
U.S. Cellular will launch Apple products, including the iPhone, later this year, reversing its earlier position. The company said in 2011 that it would not launch the iPhone because it did not make financial sense.
HTC executives sidled past the company's record-low profit for the first quarter and instead looked ahead to the future, predicting sales will rise almost two-thirds sequentially in the second quarter thanks to sales of the company's new flagship smartphone, the One.
With its fate still uncertain, Clearwire revealed relatively sluggish first-quarter results, which are likely the company's last as an independent entity. The company also said it continues to recommend Sprint Nextel's bid to acquire Clearwire over Verizon Wireless' competing bid to acquire some of Clearwire's spectrum license leases.
Qualcomm reported typically strong quarterly earnings but its long-term outlook for the year spooked some analysts and investors as worries fly that the chipset giant could be facing lower royalty payments and tougher competition in Asia.
MetroPCS said that LTE subscribers now make up 39 percent of its subscriber base, an important figure for T-Mobile USA as that carrier ramps plans to merge its network with MetroPCS' network. The 39 percent figure is in MetroPCS' first-quarter results, which are its last as an independent company; MetroPCS shareholders voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to approve the company's merger with T-Mobile.
LG Electronics shipped a record 10.8 million smartphones in the first quarter and its total handset sales, including feature phones and smartphones, were up nearly 31 percent from the year-ago period.
Sprint Nextel is shifting its focus to the future and its CDMA and LTE networks as it nears the shutdown of its Nextel iDEN network, scheduled for the middle of the year. As it has in the past several quarters, the company reported relatively strong metrics for its "Sprint platform" (CDMA and LTE) while losing subscribers from its legacy Nextel (iDEN) network.
Apple said it sold 37.4 million iPhones and 19.5 million iPads in its fiscal 2013 second quarter, which ended March 30, beating analysts' expectations for around 35 million iPhones and 17 million iPads. In the year-ago quarter, Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones and 11.8 million iPads.