Verizon ended its first quarter with 32 percent of its customers using smartphones and the company is counting on its 4G network to boost that percentage to 50 percent.
For the quarter ended March 31, Verizon had only two weeks with the HTC Thunderbolt. Nevertheless, the company activated 260,000 Thunderbolts.
A bigger arsenal of LTE handsets is coming, according to CFO Fran Shammo. He said:
We are seeing continued demand for our Apple products and 4G LTE devices, with more smartphones, tablets, and Internet devices coming to market shortly...
With the LTE launches, as you know, we only had two weeks of our first HTC handset. We are coming out with our Samsung handset very shortly here, and then LG will be following. So we will have up to three devices launched by the second quarter, so again, that's going to accelerate the growth, and yes, we are very confident that we will hit the 50% penetration.
Shammo also noted that Verizon will have a full quarter with the iPhone, which launched in February. That fact should also boost Verizon's smartphone percentage.
Even though Shammo didn't offer specifics, but this puzzle might not be that hard to solve. An educated guess indicates he may be talking about the Samsung Galaxy S II. U.S. carriers and launch dates have been revealed yet, but this handset is already on the way to other markets in May. Additionally, the LG device in question is more than likely the LG Revolution, which is due for a spring launch and has already been confirmed for Verizon.