Verizon had it going on in the first quarter of 2012. Solid performance in both wireless and wireline business segments led to a consolidated double-digit percentage growth in year-over-year quarterly earnings results, a 4.6 percent leap in year-over-year quarterly revenue growth to $28.2 billion, and $6 billion in cash flow from operating activities, up $922 million compared with the same quarter in 2011.
Wireless carriers have a tendency to roll out the red carpet for new subscribers, but once you're part of the family, well, don't expect to receive special treatment. Highlighting this observation is the fact that Verizon Wireless is getting ready to implement a $30 upgrade fee for existing customers who upgrade to a shiny new subsidized smartphone with a renewed two-year service agreement. Apparently 24 months of data fees is no longer good enough.
Verizon Wireless has never been one to shy away from a dollar or two. (See: the company's aborted attempt to charge online bill payers a $2 "convenience fee.") Don't be too quick to judge the company, though; it looks to be taking a turn for the consumer friendly with new family data plans. Rumors about the plans have been swirling for a while, but now we have some official semi-details about the launch window for the wallet-friendly data packages.
At long last, Motorola's Droid 4 smartphone with slide-out QWERTY keyboard is available at Verizon. Motroloa's newest smartphone runs $200 with a two-year service contract and includes free overnight shipping if ordered direct from Verizon, or $550 sans contract. It's been a long wait for those who've been holding out for this particular phone, which was first rumored to drop on December 8, 2011.
Thinking about signing up with Verizon Wireless? If so, you may want to hold off a few days before inking a two-year service agreement with Big Red. Word on the Web is that Verizon is resurrecting its double data promotion for 4G LTE smartphones, which means instead of being allotted a rather snug 2GB data cap for $30/month, you'd be given room to breathe in a 4GB cap for the same monthly fee.
Telecommunications giant Verizon is partnering up with Coinstar's popular Redbox subsidiary to roll out an online streaming video service in the second half of 2012. It will be an "affordable" subscription-based service "that will allow all consumers across the U.S. to enjoy the new and popular entertainment they want, whenever they choose, using the media and devices they prefer," the two companies stated in a joint announcement.
Verizon and Motorola turned some heads at CES 2012 when they announced an update to the just released Droid Razr, the Droid Razr Maxx. Verizon has finally cut short the waiting game and announced that the Maxx is out on January 26 for $299 on-contract. To the great annoyance of Razr owners, the Maxx brings some notable spec bumps, and sells for the same price users paid for the first Razr a few months ago.
Verizon Wireless today said its year-over-year quarterly revenue grew by 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, the largest it's been in VZW's 11-year history. The company also touted strong cash flows and 18.2 percent shareholder returns in 2011, but none of it could mask the fact that VZW posted a loss of 71 cents in diluted earners per share (EPS), or a loss of $2.02 billion, compared with earnings of 93 cents a share, or a profit of $2.64 billion one year prior.
It didn't take long for Verizon to figure out the obvious, which is that $300 is a bit more than some people are willing to pay for a high-end device, even the Droid RAZR. Now you don't have to. Big Red has gone and launched a new SKU for $200 (with a 2-year service contract), pricing the smartphone in more reasonable territory. It's the exact same phone, just with less storage.
Let it never be said that the Internet can’t be used for good as well as evil. After a huge online backlash, Verizon Wireless has backed away from plans to begin charging a $2 “convenience fee” to customers for paying their bills online, or by the phone. The change was supposed to go into effect on January 15th.