AT&T's Q3 strong: 6.1 million smartphones, 4.7 million iPhones

AT&T's Q3 strong: 6.1 million smartphones, 4.7 million iPhones

Summary: The company added that it activated 4.7 million iPhones and 18 percent of those customers were new to AT&T.

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AT&T reported better-than-expected third quarter earnings as it sold 6.1 million smartphones, including 4.7 million iPhones.

The company reported third quarter earnings of $3.6 billion, or 63 cents a share, on revenue of $31.5 billion, flat with a year ago. Wall Street was looking for earnings of 60 cents a share.

AT&T said that it sold 6.1 million smartphones in the third quarter, up 1.3 million from a year ago. The company added that it activated 4.7 million iPhones and 18 percent of those customers were new to AT&T. The company also said it had its best sales quarter for Android and Windows Phone devices, but didn't offer specifics.

AT&T wireless chief Ralph de la Vega said on a conference call that his company's iPhone 5 sales were "about twice our closest competitor." Roughly speaking, that comment translates to 1.3 million iPhone 5 devices in the third quarter.

That said AT&T wants to diversify. De la Vega said:

Our lineup for the fourth quarter include includes several devices using the new Windows 8 operating system, including our exclusive Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820. We will also be the only carrier offering new Windows 8 tablets from ASUS and Samsung. We also added great Android devices to our lineup, the HTC ONE X and the LG Optimus G. And it's not just smartphones and tablets; we also offer the Samsung Galaxy camera.

For comparison, Verizon sold 6.8 million smartphones in the third quarter and 4.5 million were LTE (3.4 million Android). Note: Verizon said that it sold 3.1 million iPhones and 21 percent of them were LTE. That sum implies Verizon added 651,000 iPhone 5 units. The LTE reference includes postpaid additions for Verizon. 

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Meanwhile, the telecom giant has been moving subscribers to tiered data plans. Churn in the third quarter was 1.08 percent on a postpaid basis. Total churn was 1.34 percent up from 1.28 percent in the third quarter a year ago.

Wireless revenue in the third quarter was $16.6 billion, up 6.6 percent from a year ago. AT&T added that its LTE rollout is ahead of schedule.

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On the wireline front, AT&T said that it added 198,000 U-Verse TV subscribers and now has 4.3 million customers. U-Verse Internet customers showed a net gain of 613,000 subscribers in the third quarter to end with 7.1 million customers.

Business revenue in the third quarter was $9.1 billion, down 2.6 percent from a year ago.

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Topics: Networking, 4G, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones, Telcos

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5 comments
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  • So here's where things get muddy...

    Activated 4.7 Million iPhones... Given Apples Sales numbers for the quarter, is it safe to assume many were used or AT&T Refurbished / Pre owned?
    slickjim
    • Results

      Apple doesn't report their quarterly earnings until tomorrow, so I'm not sure what you are getting at.
      murving
      • Hmm

        Maybe it was just the iPhone 5 stuff they reported. The numbers didn't add up though that's for sure.
        slickjim
  • Best Sales Quarter for Windows Phone Devices

    Interesting. The Nokia Lumia 900 can't be tanking near as bad as people were claiming it would in that case, despite a successor that is clearly stronger.
    WebSiteManager
  • I

    Tried the rest. Now with the best AT&T!

    Best call quality, data speeds, and everything else in my local area.
    TimeForAChangeToBetter