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Verizon nets 677,000 new wireless subscribers, activates 7.2 million smartphones, 4 million iPhones in Q1

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Verizon (STOCK)
Verizon (STOCK)

Verizon just announced its Q1 2013 financial results, which reveal positive subscriber numbers and record smartphone penetration. America's largest wireless carrier added 677,000 net new postpaid subscribers between January 1st and March 31st, up 35 percent year-over-year, and now has 98.9 million retail customers in total (including prepaid and postpaid). That works out to 34.9 retail postpaid accounts, with an average of 2.7 connections per account. Verizon also revealed that 30 percent of its accounts are on a "share everything" plan that the company introduced last July. From a financial perspective, Verizon's postpaid ARPA (average revenue per account) for the quarter was $150.27, up 6.9 percent year-over-year. Total revenue of $29.4 billion represented a 4.2 percent increase year-over-year.

New customers are overwhelmingly opting for smartphones with their contracts — 7.2 million smartphones were activated in Q1, 5.9 million of which ran on Verizon's LTE network. That led to a record-high 61 percent of its postpaid subscriber base having smartphones, up from 58 percent last quarter. With 61 percent of its postpaid customers using smartphones, it should come as no surprise that more of its subscribers have access to LTE than ever before. 54 percent of its traffic goes through the company's LTE network. Overall, LTE service is available to 287 million people in 491 markets around the US. Verizon will be holding its typical investor call to discuss the results at 8:30am ET, and we'll be listening in for any other details the carrier shares.

Update: During an investor call this morning, Verizon elaborated on its device activations for the quarter. In Q1, the company says that it activated a total of four million iPhones, half of which were the iPhone 5. That translates to just over 55 percent of all smartphone activations for the quarter. A year ago, Verizon reported 3.2 million iPhone activations.

Aaron Souppouris contributed to this report.