Did Verizon favor new subscribers during DROID X launch?

This article contains unofficial information.
Did Verizon favor new subscribers during DROID X launch?
According to a story in Forbes Magazine, during the launch of the Motorola DROID X on July 15th, Big Red played favorites with those customers leaving other carriers to sign up with Verizon to get the new model. Gleacher & Co. analyst Mark McKechnie and Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdry both separately found out that while some Verizon customers looking to upgrade to the DROID X were told that the handset was out of stock and put on a waiting list, new Verizon customers were able to procure the device with the massively sized 4.3 inch display. While reps for AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile claim that they don't play favorites and will sell a handset to any customer regardless of whether he/she is an existing customer or a new one, at one time or another each of the nation's top four carriers have been accused of doing the same thing during the launch of a hot handset.

Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney says that Verizon does not favor new customers over existing ones. "Our policy is to sell all our phones on a first-come, first-serve basis." She mentioned that Verizon, like AT&T did for the iPhone 4 launch, was allowing all customers who are eligible for an upgrade anytime in 2010 to take advantage of the subsidized contract price for the DROID X. She added, "Clearly we wanted to provide a path for existing customers to get this phone." The analysts say that their research shows something different. Mr. McKechnie called 20 Verizon stores in major cities and most of them were sold out of the phone. In some situations, the rep asked if the caller was an existing Verizon customer, in which case the employee would simply say that the DROID X was sold out. If the same caller answered that he was switching from another carrier, the store was more interested in helping the caller find the device.

Mr. Chowdry said in a July 19th note to clients that while making calls to Verizon stores, he was told that the DROID X was sold out if he said that he already was a Verizon customer. When he suggested that he would be switching to Big Red from another carrier, the stores would say that they had one or two phones held aside for people joining Verizon from other carriers. The analyst says that 8% to 10% of Verizon's inventory was held aside for new Verizon customers while smaller stores held aside 1 to 5 units. He estimates that Verizon sold 275,000 to 300,000 DROID X models in the first three days of launch with 2% being sold to those leaving other carriers for Verizon. By last Sunday, those stores he called each had waiting lists of 50 to 75 names. Those on the list will probably get their handset in early August.

Motorola DROID X Specifications | Review

source: Forbes


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