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Wednesday, January 04, 2012, 01:41 pm PT (04:41 pm ET)

Verizon reports sales of 4.2 million iPhones during holiday quarter

Apple isn't scheduled to report its holiday quarterly sales until January 24, but Verizon Wireless has just noted that it has sold 4.2 million iPhones in the last three months of 2011, double its previous quarterly figure.

Speaking at the Citi Global Entertainment Media & Communications Conference today, Verizon's chief financial officer Fran Shammo outed his company's iPhone sales figure (as noted by Streetinsider).

The future was more than double the 2 million iPhones Verizon sold in the previous quarter; in comparison, AT&T sold 2.7 million phones in the third calendar quarter ending in September (it hasn't released fourth quarter sales figures yet).

In total, Apple reported sales of just over 17 million iPhones in the September quarter (its fiscal Q4 2011). Analysts had guessed Apple would reach sales of 20-22 million or more, despite the delayed released of the new iPhone 4S and the tempering affect on sales created by the expectation of a new model around the corner.

The fact that Verizon doubled its iPhone sales even as Apple's US market was expanded to include Sprint and the smaller regional carrier C Spire Wireless indicates the combination of the iPhone 4S, a lower priced iPhone 4, and the now free with contract iPhone 3GS (which is only available on AT&T's network in the US) has resulted in plenty of sales opportunities for every US carrier.

In its last conference call, Apple noted that it now has 130 carriers worldwide in 105 countries, and that the delay of the iPhone 4S release resulted in Q4 sales being only up 21 percent over the year ago quarter.

Apple's chief executive Tim Cook stated, "I'm confident that we will set an all-time record for iPhones this quarter." He added, "We're thrilled with how we've gotten started (with the 4S). The feedback that we're getting from customers is just fantastic."