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Verizon Readies 15 Handsets In Q4

Basking Ridge, N.J. – Verizon
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.