There’s an old joke that goes, Why don’t analysts look out of the window in the mornings? So they’ll have something to do in the afternoon. Turns out, that’s wrong — they actually spend their mornings on the phone calling every Verizon store they can find (registration required).
OK, full disclosure: some journalists think that they and analysts do remarkably similar jobs, except that analysts have the cojones to add a few zeros to their bill at the end of the day. But it has to be admitted, calling 150 Verizon stores to ask, “Say, how’s that new HTC Thunderbolt selling compared to the iPhone?” takes, well, quite some time.
And writing up the conclusion, too, that must have taken a while. “61% of the stores that we contacted said they sold an equal amount of both phones, 11% said they sold more iPhones (principally in the Southeast) and 28% of stores had sold more ThunderBolts.”
The research was done by BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk, and he admits it’s not a very scientific study – the salespersons to whom he spoke “did not have access to actual sales figures and their response was based on their own experience.” But, he adds, “they were not much hesitation in the response [sic].”
So, a shiny new smartphone released two weeks ago is outselling one that’s been available for getting on for a year on AT&T and nearly three months on Verizon? Could it be that those who crave speed picked up the latest, greatest smartphone which runs on the faster network in preference to the older model? Well, 28% of those asked in an unscientific survey did, anyway. Perhaps.