Verizon activates 3.1M iPhones in Q3, nearly 1 out of 5 was iPhone 5

Verizon reported today it activated 3.1 million iPhones during the three-month period ending September 30. About 650,000 were iPhone 5 units that had been purchased in just one week, the largest US carrier reported. The iPhone represented 46 percent of smartphones Verizon sold during the period. Overall, smartphones now account for 53 percent of the handsets Verizon sells.

The 650,000 iPhone 5 sales figure is impressive, given Apple’s latest handset was released in late September, permitting only one week of sales during the third quarter. The Cupertino, California-based Apple confirmed it sold 5 million of the new handsets during its opening weekend last month…

Verizon said 4G LTE devices, such as the iPhone 5, rose to 16.5 percent of the company’s handsets. The carrier introduced seven 4G LTE handsets during the quarter.

By comparison, Verizon’s sales of Android phones slightly outdistanced the iPhone with 3.4 million handsets being powered by Google’s mobile operating system. All together, the iPhone and Android comprised an astounding 6.5 million of the total 6.8 million smartphones Verizon sold during the period.

This left Microsoft and Research in Motion to fight for the remaining 300,000 units.

Next week should deliver even more important indicators of the iPhone’s health.

On October 24, AT&T will announce its quarterly sales figures.

Although Verizon is the largest US carrier, AT&T has the longest connection as an iPhone provider, having been Apple’s exclusive carrier partner for years. As you know, here in the US the iPhone is now available from Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, plus a bunch of prepaid regional carriers.

The very next day, Apple will release its quarterly sales numbers, giving us the clearest picture about iPhone 5 demand.

In your opinion, will AT&T’s number mirror Verizon’s?

Just how much did early delays of the iPhone 5 hurt Apple?