Verizon Wireless Posts Major Green, Even Without a New iPhone

Verizon Wireless added 888,000 customers and brought in $28.6 billion in revenue. This comes despite the fact the carrier is working with an older lineup of iPhones.

Even with an aging iPhone lineup, Verizon Wireless announced a banner second quarter. During those three months, the carrier added 888,000 retail postpaid customers and again saw double-digit percentage growth in its year-to-year earnings.

Benefiting from a well-rounded smartphone portfolio, increasing numbers of smartphone users and a growing Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network powering Americans' taste for high-speed data, Verizon posted operating revenue of $28.6 billion, operating income of $5.7 billion, service revenue of $15.8 billion€”up 7.3 percent year-over-year€”and data revenue that was up by $1.1 billion, reaching $6.9 billion during the quarter.

Verizon officially released its second-quarter 2012 financial results July 19.

With smartphone sales rising€”smartphone owners now constitute 50 percent of Verizon's postpaid customer base, up from 47 percent during the first quarter€”its average revenue for those users rose 3.7 percent to a record $56.13, its highest growth rate in three years.

"Verizon Wireless has once again demonstrated its industry leadership, combining strong revenue growth with record margins and high customer loyalty," Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said in a statement.

McAdam added, "We reported sequential improvement in second-quarter Wireline margins, and we expect to see that improving trend carry through the second half of the year. We also look forward to the closing of strategic transactions and to the integration of process improvements that will set the stage for continued long-term profitable growth across all our business units."

Beyond the sparkling financials, it was a milestone quarter for Verizon in that the company was involved in several controversial deals. It's still moving forward with an arrangement it made with several leading cable companies, in which the latter will sell spectrum to Verizon and parties on both sides will market the wares of the other.

Verizon has also arranged to sell spectrum€”some of it acquired through the cable deal and so awaiting approval from the Federal Communications Committee€”to T-Mobile.

Also keeping things interesting, Verizon paved the way for new data pricing in the industry, announcing Share Everything plans in which several devices can share a single data allotment. After the dust had settled a bit€”Verizon acknowledged that it anticipated some backlash, despite promises that no current subscribers would be forced into the new plans€”AT&T announced it will soon offer similar plans.

A day ahead of its earnings call, Verizon also announced that€”toward its goal of extending its 4G LTE network to 400 markets by year's end€”it had added 33 new coverage areas, bringing its total to 337. In addition, it extended the network in 32 existing markets.

Its LTE network, the carrier added in a statement, now covers "more markets than all other U.S. wireless providers combined."

The carrier sold 5.9 million smartphones during the quarter and 3.2 million 4G LTE devices. It supports 7.5 million Internet devices, and 61 percent of its tablet customers are postpaid.

McAdam added that the carrier is on track to produce "solid double-digit earnings growth for the year."