Incoming Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said it may be "a quarter behind" on its goal to reach its smartphone targets because it had banked on an iPhone 5 being launched in the summer.
McAdam made the comments on Verizon's second quarter earnings conference call. The company reported better-than-expected financial results, activated 2.2 million iPhones and officially said McAdam would become CEO Aug. 1.
In January, Verizon outlined a goal to have half of its devices be smartphones by the end of the year. One analyst noted that the smartphone mix through the second quarter---36 percent of Verizon's retail postpaid customer base has a smartphone---would fall short.
On the conference call, McAdam said:
We are probably what I would view as maybe a quarter behind what we had talked about in January , primarily because we expected an iPhone 5 refresh sometime this summer . We don't know when the next one is going to come out. You will have to ask Apple that. But we expect that probably sometime in the fall, and I think you will see a significant jump there when we get to that point. On the LTE side, I can't tell you how pleased I am at how the device manufacturers have stepped up with all kinds of devices. We are beginning to see even in the machine-to-machine space LTE modules, because the latency is so much better than we have in a 3G environment. Our fourth-quarter lineup is going to be very robust. You have seen -- you have gotten a little bit of a peek at that through devices like the Samsung [Charge]. So the screen density is so significantly better than what we have seen in the past. So I think we are going to have probably in my entire career the best fourth-quarter lineup of devices I have seen, which will shift that mix that you talked about.
Overall, McAdam said he was satisfied with Verizon's iPhone activations---4.5 million to date---given there's no iPhone 5 on the immediate horizon. And then there's AT&T, which has held its own.
"Given the delay of the iPhone 5 is more than a quarter, I think we have actually performed quite well. AT&T is a strong competitor, and they have done a lot of things to be a strong competitor. But I like our porting ratios. I like our growth rate versus theirs," said McAdam.