How top carriers Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint stacked up in 4Q 2015

Here's a reminder of why operators are looking so seriously at the Internet of Things: Smartphone sales by the four major carriers fell year on year, from around 42 million to around 38 million, during the fourth quarter of 2015, according to JackDaw Research.

It's not exactly a surprise given that smartphone sales have been slowing as the market reaches near saturation and the two largest carriers back off on pushing customers to upgrade. As saturation continues to increase and as installment plans for devices continue to take hold, it's likely that smartphone sales will continue to slow over the coming quarters.

For more trends from JackDaw and a full rundown of U.S. operators' fourth-quarter metrics from Strategy Analytics, check out this FierceWireless special report.