Verizon and iPhones

The company must sell $23.5 billion worth of iPhones this year to meet a commitment it made to Apple Inc. in 2010, according to an investment research firm’s analysis of SEC filings.... Because of slower-than-expected sales, Verizon now must double its iPhone sales of last year. If it falls short, the company could be on the hook for as much as $14 billion,
— LA Times
Source: Apple.com

Source: Apple.com

What is surprising about this report is that we've heard from multiple sources and mainly from CNN Money last year that Verizon store reps were found intentionally pushing Android 4G phones over then 3G Verizon Apple iPhone. The apparent reasoning was that Verizon was trying to promote its 4G network as it had invested in the infrastructure heavily. So if these reports were true then this is solely Verizon's fault that they chose the wrong path to earn back the money they invested.

Moffet said AT&T reported just $3.8 billion in commitments overall at the end of the 2012.
— LA Times

Also noted in the report is that AT&T owes only $3.8 billion in commitments. If indeed the iPhone sales were "slower-than-expected", there is no reason for AT&T not to have experienced the same slow down in their iPhone sales. Recollecting what the original CNN Money's article had to say about AT&T compared to Verizon its not a surprise that iPhones sell differently at Verizon and AT&T. Now on to Apple's Q3, 2013 results for the actual numbers.

Yet AT&T, which faces similar margin and capacity constraints, pointed me directly to the iPhone each time I posed as a potential smartphone customer. “It’s all about the 4S now,” one AT&T rep said over the phone, unprovoked. “The iPhone is the most popular phone, you know what you’re getting, and it’s a status symbol you can’t get anywhere else.”
— CNN Money