Fact Checking the WSJ

About ten days ago the Wall Street Journal reported that “people familiar with the situation” said that Apple cut iPhone 5 component orders in half. According to their anonymous source, demand for Apple’s flagship phone “haven’t been as strong as anticipated”.

Luckily we now have Apple’s Q4 financials along with those from AT&T and Verizon to fact check the WSJ’s anonymous source. Two days ago, Apple announced they had sold 47.8 million iPhones during the last three months of 2012. I’m not sure what this anonymous person considers strong, but that sounds like strong demand to me. But that’s not all the data we have because today AT&T released its Q4 2012 financial report including the following smartphone sales figures:

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That gives Apple 84% of all smartphones sold on AT&T, which isn’t surprising given the iPhone has been available on their network since day one.

So what about Verizon, where the iPhone has been on sale a little less than two years? I mean, you can’t walk by a Verizon store without seeing wall to wall DROID ads. Surely, all those DROID and Samsung Galaxy ads must be driving massive Android sales at Verizon, right?

Well, let’s take a look at Verizon’s Q4 2012 financial report and see what we can find:

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So the iPhone is outselling Android and everyone else by a 2 to 1 margin on the network that pushes DROID on potential customers like Best Buy pushes extended warrantees.

And where are all those Samsung Galaxy phones being sold? At least once a week someone tells me it’s outselling the iPhone. Maybe it’s the nearly $12 billion Samsung spent on advertising, commissions, and sales promotions in 2012 that is clouding their judgment. I don’t know. They must be selling like hotcakes somewhere.

Just not on America’s two largest carriers.

I’m sure the WSJ will publish a follow-up story about how Apple needs to release a “cheaper iPhone” in order to remain competitive. Just like they needed to build a netbook.

Keep up the good work, WSJ!

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