Earlier this month, a research report from BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk concluded that the HTC Thunderbolt was outselling the Verizon iPhone. This report was based on anecdotal evidence gathered from sales employees and their impressions of which handset was selling faster. Needless to say, the methodology behind this analysis led us to be skeptical of these results; as it turns out, that skepticism was well-founded.
During Verizon's earnings conference call, the wireless carrier confirmed it sold 2.2 million iPhones in the six weeks the handset was available on the network. The carrier also confirmed the 4G-enabled HTC Thunderbolt sold 260,000 in the two weeks it was available. On average, then, Verizon was selling about 360,000 iPhones and 130,000 Thunderbolts per week.
This is a whopping 230K difference in units sold that favors the iPhone. If you stretch out the Thunderbolt sales to six weeks and assume sales continue at the rate noted above (not necessarily the case, as sales would tend to spike at the beginning of the window and trend down, but giving the Thunderbolt the benefit of the doubt), Verizon would have sold 2.2M iPhones and only 780K HTC Thunderbolt handsets.