You would think all of the hype surrounding the much-anticipated iPhone 5 would leave consumers waiting for Apple’s new handset. Well, you’d be wrong. The iPhone 4 remains the top-selling U.S. smartphone at AT&T and Verizon, one analyst says.
The iPhone 4, introduced more than a year ago, and the earlier iPhone 3GS rank as the No. 1 and No. 2 sellers at AT&T, according to Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley. At Verizon, which sells only the iPhone 4, the Apple handset ranks in first place, above Samsung’s Charge 4G and HTC’s Thunderbolt 4G.
“Our checks indicated strong sales of the iPhone 4, as it remained the top selling smartphone at AT&T and Verizon, despite increasing consumer expectations for the iPhone 5 launch,” Walkley told investors Tuesday. The new iPhone is expected to appear either later this month or sometime in October.
The analyst expects “strong sales of the iPhone 5” during the holiday period, including availability at more carriers, such as Sprint. The Wall Street Journal recently reported No. 3 carrier Sprint would get the iPhone.
Motorola and RIM, which had been making strong smartphones sales in the U.S., appear to be giving way to Apple, HTC and Samsung, he said. Additionally, the strength shown by Apple’s smartphones appear evident also in the 3G version of the iPad 2.
The analyst cited “poor sell-through trends” for rivals as why “Apple will maintain dominant value share of both the tablet and smartphone markets.” The good news for Apple could grow stronger should the iPhone 5 announcement include word that Sprint will gain the iconic handset and AT&T untangles the regulatory mess stopping government approval of its acquisition of T-Mobile USA. If all of those stars align, 2012 could be another blockbuster year for Apple and further headaches for Android.