Bell vs. Rogers – Smartphones

Bell vs. Rogers – Smartphones Q1 2012

Big increases in Bell smartphones

In Q1 2012, Bell made a huge leap forward in smartphones.   Rogers said they had such a big quarter of smartphone loads because of iPhone 4S shortages in Q4 2011, yet Bell loaded 523K smartphones to Rogers 640K smartphones in the quarter.  Bell increased 45% in volume of smartphone loads vs. Rogers 20% compared to Q1 2011.  And Bell was up 47% over Q4 2011 while Rogers was down nearly 20% over Q4 211.  But it was Rogers that complained of iPhone shortages?  This is a huge change!

Bell v Rogers smartphone war

Bell winning on smartphones

But made sure they were value enhancing

Bell went from 34% smartphones to 52% in one year, while Rogers went from 45% to 70% in the same period.  So Rogers actually grew their smartphone base faster.  But looking at the relative spends on retention, Bell could be getting new smartphone customers who are ARPU accretive vs. Rogers who are upgrading existing smartphone users, perhaps to new rate plans which are value destroying, hence the difference in smartphone ARPU trends.   Since Bell did not disclose this number, so we can’t be sure, but either way, I think there is more value in an operator with lower smartphone penetration and increasing ARPU, rather than Rogers with declining ARPU and 70% smartphone penetration.



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