Kantar: Verizon taking smartphone share from AT&T, Sprint

|About: Verizon Communications (VZ)|By:, SA News Editor

In addition to  providing fresh global smartphone sales estimates, Kantar Worldpanel has provided estimates for U.S. carrier smartphone sales. Verizon (VZ -0.7%) is the big winner: Kantar thinks the nation's top carrier accounted for 37.1% of U.S. smartphone sales in the June-August timeframe, +520 bps Y/Y.

On the other hand, Kantar thinks AT&T's (T -0.5%) share fell 680 bps to 21.7%, and Sprint's (S +1%) share 620 bps to 14.6%. T-Mobile USA (TMUS -0.3%), its fortunes recently improving thanks to iPhone sales and new service plans, is assigned a 13.2% share, +110 bps. Curiously, "Other" carriers are given a 13.4% share, +500 bps.

AT&T recently announced it expects its Q3 smartphone upgrades to be up Y/Y, and that it will add 1M smartphone subs during the quarter. However, it also predicted upgrades will drop on a Y/Y basis in Q4.

Smartphone users made up 64.4% of Verizon's postpaid base at the end of Q2, up from 61.4% at the end of Q1. That figure still trailed AT&T's 73%. Higher smartphone sales hurt near-term margins, but also boost ARPUs by migrating subs to costlier data plans.