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Verizon sold 3.9M iPhones in Q3, 51% of total activations

Verizon didn't break out iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C sales, but noted supply constraints that cause most of the sales to roll into the fourth quarter.

Apple's iPhone 5C.
Apple's iPhone 5C likely didn't do as well as the iPhone 5S.

Verizon sold about 3.9 million iPhones in the third quarter.

Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said Thursday that 51 percent of it total 7.6 million smartphone activations in the quarter were iPhones. He didn't break out the figures for iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5C, or the older iPhone models.

The 3.9 million iPhones still topped the 3.1 million iPhones sold in the year-ago quarter, when the iPhone 5 had just debuted. It was flat with the 3.9 million iPhones Verizon sold in the second quarter.

The iPhone impact could have been higher if the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C had launched before mid-September, the last month of the third quarter. Shammo noted that Verizon faced supply constraints, which likely led to many sales flowing into the fourth quarter.

The company activated a total of 10.2 million devices on its network in the third quarter. Of the smartphone activations, 29 percent came from new customers, a critical measure of growth.

Of the 927,000 retail post-paid additions -- aka customers with contracts -- Verizon sold more than 1 million smartphones, although that was offset by a significant decline in basic phones. In total, phone net additions were 481,000. It also added 370,000 tablets and 76,000 home phone connect devices in the period.

More than 67 percent of Verizon Wireless' retail post-paid customers own a smartphone, compared with 64 percent in the second quarter.

Verizon said it had an average of 35 million retail post-paid accounts in the third quarter, with an average of 2.7 connections per account, a new metric the industry has come up with to account for shared family plans that allow individuals or families to share data among multiple devices. Nearly 42 percent of its accounts are on a Share Everything family plan.

On the conference call, Shammo said that the first smartphone capable of voice over LTE, which runs purely on its faster 4G network, would come out later this year. But Verizon won't turn on its VoLTE network until the first half, waiting to make sure it can deliver the same quality of call service as its current 3G network.