Verizon sets launch record with iPhone release
Verizon Wireless had the most successful launch in its history on Thursday, but shares of its majority owner, Verizon Communications Inc., fell nearly 1 percent as analysts warned that the release of its version of Apple Inc.’s iPhone would hurt profits, Reuters reported.
After besting its previous launch-day phone sales record in only two hours, Verizon ended online sales of the iPhone, citing depleted inventories.
But the launch, which marked the end of AT&T Inc.’s more than three years of exclusive U.S. rights to the mobile device, could lead to large subsidy costs, according to Reuters.
“While such a scenario is possible, we grow increasingly skeptical that such an outcome is likely, and note that it certainly never proved to be the case at AT&T,” said Mike McCormack, a senior analyst with Nomura Securities International Inc.
He said Verizon could sell more than 12 million iPhones this year, which would provide the company with a “meaningful share” of new subscribers.
Verizon Communications shares were down 33 cents, or 0.9 percent, at $36.07 on New York Stock Exchange. AT&T shares were down 8 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $27.91. Shares of Apple were up $1.71, or 0.5 percent, at $345.16.
Since November, as anticipation for Verizon’s iPhone launch grew, the company’s shares had risen 13 percent.