Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. mobile carrier, sold 4.2 million Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhones in the fourth quarter, more than doubling from the third quarter, said Fran Shammo, finance chief of the companyâ€™s parent.
That’s more than double what Verizon sold in CYQ3’11 (2 million). Uncharacteristically for Apple, during the last quarterly announcement Tim Cook predicted record sales for iPhones in the last calendar quarter of 2011. Apple will announce FYQ1’12 earnings on January 24 and I’ll bet Cook ends up being right.
The impact of an army of Android smartphones growing rapidly to display manufacturers is different from the growing demand for just one 3.5-inch 960×640 LCD. Having hundreds of different display sizes with different pixel formats make it difficult to maintain the highest yields and therefore the lowest cost of manufacturing. This ultimately impacts the LCD price to customers like HTC, LG, Samsung, etc. Companies like LG Display, who is the main supplier of iPhone 4 displays, can continually improve the manufacturing process to improve yields, reduce defects, and lower the cost to build them. Apple benefits by getting lower prices. In the case of the 9.7-inch 1024×768 LCD that is used for the iPad and iPad 2 new materials like oxide TFTs (Sharp’s IGZO is one example) can be applied to an already high-yield manufacturing system to develop enhanced versions with better light transmittance, lower power consumption, and darker black levels.