Ina Fried

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Report Says iPhone Kicking Droid’s Posterior

An analyst report making the rounds on Monday suggests that Verizon Wireless has seen its smartphone growth lag over the last few months, while iPhone sales have taken off.

According to the report, from Asymco, AT&T saw iPhone sales grow from 2.7 million devices in the first quarter to 5.3 million in the third quarter. Verizon, meanwhile, saw total smartphone shipments grow from 2.7 million units to 3.3 millon units during that same period.

In particular, the report shows Verizon growth hitting a wall in August with sales of all its major smartphones dropping from August through October. Asymco, which based its report on figures from an ITG Investment Research report as well as results from AT&T, has some very pretty charts of all this (well, pretty unless you are Verizon).

A Verizon Wireless spokesman declined comment, while AT&T was predictably happy about the report. “This report validates AT&T’s approach, which is to offer customers maximum choice in handsets, operating systems and much more,” an AT&T representative told Mobilized.

Not to quibble, but the numbers seem to speak more to the power of the iPhone against all the choices in the world.

All of this is interesting, but may prove somewhat moot for Verizon once it gets the iPhone, a development widely expected to happen early next year.

The real lesson here seems to be for the smartphone makers other than Apple, particularly those that have been heavily promoted by Verizon. (Can you hear me now, Motorola?)

Motorola has already said it expects to take a hit in the first quarter based on expected developments at Verizon. But other Android-based makers could also take a hit as the arrival of the iPhone at Verizon takes away one of the top reasons people buy a non-Apple phone–they don’t want to go with AT&T.

That said, Google has been crowing about the growth of Android, with exec Andy Rubin tweeting last week that the activations of Android-based phones now top 300,000 per day.

Update, 3:30 pm PT: Asymco clarified that the ultimate numbers used in the charts and the report were its own, based on publicly reported numbers from AT&T as well as information from an ITG Investment Research report on Verizon. Also, the company said the total number of iPhones for the third quarter should have been 5.3 million, not the figure originally listed in its report.