) popular trilogy of smartphones -- the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and
iPhone 5 -- is now available to nearly 10 million additional
customers. According to
, the expansion is due to the merger between T-Mobile (NYSE:
) and MetroPCS (NYSE:
). While T-Mobile began to sell all three iPhone models early
last month, the merger with MetroPCS means that another nine
million customers will be able to purchase an Apple
That may not be a record-breaking number, but it is crucial to
the long-term expansion of the iPhone brand. Apple has been
working hard to keep up with Android manufacturers, especially
Samsung, which has become the Mac maker's
Prior to the merger, T-Mobile had roughly 34 million
subscribers. It is not yet known how many of them have purchased
an iPhone since it came to the carrier.
), the third-largest cellular service provider in America, has
sold roughly 1.5 million iPhones every quarter for the past 15
), which obtained exclusive rights to the iPhone during its first
few years at retail, sold more iPhones during the fall quarter
than Sprint sold during an entire year. During the period,
AT&T carrier activated
8.6 million iPhones
At the same time, Verizon (NYSE:
6.2 million iPhones
Sales were predictably lower in the first quarter. AT&T
4.8 million units
, Verizon sold
four million units
and Sprint exceeded sales of
1.5 million units
, as usual.
Virgin Mobile -- the pay-as-you-go carrier that uses Sprint's
network -- has not released any iPhone sales data. Best Buy
) had temporarily pulled the Virgin Mobile version of the iPhone
4S, indicating that the device may have underperformed. The
retailer began to
sell it again
earlier this spring.
Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:
) may not be so lucky.
Leap, which owns a pre-paid carrier called Cricket, could be
$100 million in unsold iPhones
If true, the unsold phones may be due to consumers' inability
to purchase a Cricket iPhone. Unlike Virgin Mobile and MetroPCS,
Cricket is only available in a select number of markets.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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