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Verizon Readies 15 Handsets In Q4

10/26/2009 04:31:10 PM Eastern

Basking Ridge, N.J. - Verizon Wireless will launch 15 new handsets in the fourth quarter, executives said during an investors' conference call.

Those devices include the previously announced BlackBerry Storm2 and previously announced plans for two Android-based smartphones, whose details haven't been released. Early next year, the company said it would offer new phones from Palm.

For now, the Apple iPhone doesn't seem to be in the cards. Although "we'd obviously be interested" in selling the iPhone," Verizon Communications chairman/CEO Ivan Seidenberg said, "this is a decision exclusively in Apple's court." Verizon is broadening its handset choices for subscribers, "and hopefully Apple and others will decide to jump on the bandwagon," he said.

With the launches, Verizon hopes to further accelerate its data-revenue-driving smartphpone selection, which in the third quarter ending September accounted for 40 percent of all Verizon handset sold, the company said. The total number of retail (non-MVNO) postpaid subscribers using smartphones almost doubled compared with the year-ago quarter to account for 23 percent of retail postpaid subscribers, the company noted. Data revenues accounted for 30.5 percent of total service revenues in the quarter, up from a year-ago 25.1 percent on a pro forma basis, the company said.

Including Verizon's acquisition of Alltel in January, service revenues rose 23.7 percent to $13.5 billion, and sales of subscriber equipment grew 28.8 percent to $2.27 billion. On a pro forma basis, service revenues were up 6.1 percent.

For the nine months ending September, service revenues rose 26.5 percent to $40 billion, and equipment sales rose 31.1 percent to $6.45 billion.

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