Verizon trails AT&T in Q3 net adds, touts Q4 device launches

Despite fierce competition from AT&T and the iPhone 3GS, Verizon Wireless maintained a strong third quarter with revenues of $15.8 billion, up 24.4 percent year-over-year, and services revenues of $13.5 billion, up 23.7 percent year-over-year. The company added 1.2 million net wireless customers in the quarter for a total of 89 million subscribers. While strong, the results did fall short of AT&T's net adds of 2 million for the third quarter. Nevertheless, Verizon insists that it's strong fourth quarter device lineup (including the heavily promoted Droid) will help propel more growth in the coming quarter. Here's a breakdown of Verizon's key metrics:

Subscribers: Verizon ended the third quarter with 89 million subscribers, up 25.7 percent year-over year.  The carrier added 1.2 million net adds in the quarter and 1 million of those net adds were retail customers.

Churn: Total churn was 1.49 percent. Retail postpaid churn was 1.13 percent. The total churn numbers were up slightly from the 1.36 percent reported in second quarter 2009 and from 1.43 percent in third quarter 2008.

Data: Data revenue was $4.1 billion for the quarter and data ARPU was $15.59, up 17.2 percent year over year. During a conference call with analysts, Verizon executives noted that in 2006 data revenues for the entire year were $4 billion. Verizon's data revenue came in above AT&T, which reported third-quarter data revenues of $3.6 billion.

ARPU: Average revenue per user was $51.04, a decrease of 2.2 percent year over year.

Devices: Verizon said that integrated devices now make up 23 percent of its customer base. The company is set to introduce 12 more devices in the fourth quarter. This includes two Android phones-- the Droid and another device--the BlackBerry Storm2 and the Curve 2. Verizon also will introduce the Palm Pre early next year. The carrier said it expects continued growth from mobile broadband devices like netbooks and MiFi.

iPhone: During a conference call with analysts, Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg said that the ball is in Apple's court regarding a potential Verizon iPhone. "We would be interested in some point in the future and they have thought it would be interesting to have us as a partner," Seidenberg said. However, he didn't elaborate further on whether an LTE-based iPhone is in the works. Instead he touted the company's portfolio of upcoming devices, including the Storm2 and the the Droid. "Our view is that we must broaden the base of choice for customers and hopefully along the way Apple and others will jump on the bandwagon."

Verizon's stock was up slightly to around $29 per share following its earnings announcement.

For more:
- see FierceWireless' Q3 earnings page
- see these metrics on Verizon's quarter
- see this press release
- see this AllThingsD article

Related Articles:
Verizon adds 1.1M subs in Q2
AT&T expects solid Q3 net adds; Vodafone may re-evaluate stake in VZW
AT&T's mixed iPhone message
AT&T activates 3.2M iPhones in Q3, hints at end to exclusivity

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