It continues to be rather amazing to me that the mobile phone market depends so heavily on the iPhone to generate sales and growth. A new report was published recently showing that the number of postpaid customers declined in Q1 2012. That is likely the first time ever that postpaid subscribers have declined according to analysts.
The report comes from analysts at Jefferies & Co and according to those analysts, Q1 2012 was the weakest quarter for cell phone sales in many years. Some of the blame is being pointed at the new iPhone. It’s not particularly surprising if you consider with no new iPhone, there was no huge influx of mobile phone users upgrading or adding lines.
Analyst Thomas Seitz wrote in a research note that Q1 sales were “… in line with our view that net adds are significantly lower in the quarter after an iPhone launch.” In other words, so many people bought the new iPhone when it launched that those who wanted a new cell phone or smart phone bought one. Both AT&T and Verizon saw what the analysts call modest growth in traditional customers but both T-Mobile, and the other major carrier saw declines.