Last night, like many of you, I’m sure, I was glued to the TV for the midterm election results (ok, I was following the Daily Show’s coverage). Those states are in a state of flux, as is the state of the BlackBerry within those states. This week, Thought examines the state of the US market.
The US Market: Will Verizon Become #1?
In the last two weeks, both the #1 cellular carrier in the US, Cingular Wireless, and the #2 carrier, Verizon Wireless, have released their 3rd quarter results. The numbers from this quarter and prior ones show an undeniable trend: Verizon is on a solid track to overtake Cingular as the #1 carrier in the United States.
Consider these numbers over the last 4 quarters for net customer additions:
3Q06 1.9 million
2Q06 1.8 million
1Q06 1.7 million
4Q05 2.0 million
3Q06 1.4 million
2Q06 1.5 million
1Q06 1.7 million
4Q05 1.8 million
As of the end of Q3, Cingular was still the leader in the US market with 58.7 million subscribers, with Verizon having 56.7 million customers. However, as seen in the statistics, Verizon has added approximately 1 million more customers than Cingular over the last year, and they are accelerating in their pace of closing the gap. Verizon may very well replace Cingular atop the US market either in late 2007 or sometime in 2008.
Verizon also makes more money per customer than Cingular. In the 3rd quarter, Verizon averaged $51.21 in monthly revenue per customer while Cingular averaged $49.76 per customer. I know some of the Verizon critics who complain about their high prices are snickering, saying â€œof courseâ€â€¦but from a business perspective this is a very healthy sign. Then there is the fact that Verizon customers are the most loyal: Verizon has the lowest churn (or customer loss) rate of 1.24%, while Cingular is at 1.8%.
So Verizon is in a pretty sweet spot in the US market: they are adding the most customers, making the most money from those customers, and are best at keeping those customers happy. But what does that mean to RIM?