Verizon grabs nearly a third of iPhone market share, analytics firm says

Verizon's share of iPhone market has grown steadily since February launch

Slowly but steadily, Verizon is gaining ground in the race for the most iPhone users.

ANALYSIS: Verizon iPhone: 7 Facts You Need to Know

According to new data released Thursday by Localytics, a mobile analytics firm in Cambridge, Mass., Verizon powered 32% of all iPhone 4 devices in the U.S. so far this month. Daniel Ruby, the director of online marketing for Localytics, says that his firm collected the data by analyzing which carrier iPhone 4 owners were using to access the 1,500 mobile applications that use Localytics as their analytics software. Localytics has several big-name clients that use its software to monitor traffic on their applications, including Skype, Newscorp and Turner Broadcasting, so its data does capture trends within some high-traffic applications.

Localytics notes that Verizon's iPhone share has been inching further upward ever since it started selling a CDMA version of the device in February. The firm found that Verizon powered just under 20% of all iPhone 4s after having the device available on its network for one week. That number grew steadily every month afterward, hitting 25% of the U.S. iPhone 4 market in April and 29% of the iPhone 4 market in June.

Going forward, the firm expects that Verizon will continue to eat into AT&T's market share, especially when the newest iPhone model debuts simultaneously on both networks this fall.

"Although various outlets reported on response to the Verizon iPhone launch being lackluster, the network has managed to pull together a very respectable segment of the iPhone-using market," Localytics writes. "With rumors swirling about the iPhone 5 perhaps launching in September on multiple carriers, Verizon's recent market share gains may be a precursor of what comes this fall."

Although Verizon activated an impressive total of 2.2 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2011, it was still no match for AT&T, which activated 3.6 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2011, a 33% increase over the 2.7 million iPhones it activated in the first quarter of 2010. AT&T also has said that 23% of iPhone activations in the first quarter of 2011 represented new subscribers, meaning the carrier is still attracting new users even though it no longer holds exclusivity rights for the iPhone. Although a survey issued by ChangeWave earlier this year suggested that one in four AT&T iPhone users would switch to Verizon once Verizon got the iPhone, there has so far been no indication of a mass iPhone exodus from one carrier to another.

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