AT&T activates 4.3 million iPhones in Q1 2012, accounts for 78% of smartphone sales

A lineup at an AT&T store

This morning AT&T issued their Q1 2012 financial results, where they casually mentioned that of the 5.5 million smartphones sold, 4.3 million were iPhones (and 21% were new to AT&T). Though they didn't mention exactly how many Android phones were sold by comparison, it would be under 1.2 million, assuming they sold a negligible number of BlackBerry and Windows Phone handsets. Even among other carriers, AT&T is doing pretty well.

"We continue to capitalize on our terrific momentum in mobile Internet," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive officer. "Smartphone and branded computing device sales continue to set a record pace, mobile data revenues were up nearly 20 percent, and we achieved this growth with expanding margins. These results add confidence in our outlook for the year."

  • $0.60 diluted EPS compared to $0.57 diluted EPS in the first quarter of 2011
  • Consolidated revenues of $31.8 billion, up $575 million, or 1.8 percent, versus the year-earlier period
  • Wireless operating income margin up to 27.2 percent; wireless EBITDA service margin up significantly to 41.6 percent even with strong smartphone sales
  • More than $2 billion in stock buybacks; 67.7 million shares repurchased
  • AT&T's growth engines — wireless, wireline data and managed services — represented 78 percent of total revenues and grew 6.2 percent versus the same quarter a year ago, led by:
  • 19.9 percent growth in wireless data revenues, up more than $1 billion versus the year-earlier quarter
  • 19.0 percent growth in strategic business services revenues
  • 38.2 percent growth in consumer U-verse revenues
  • Smartphone sales of 5.5 million, exceeding the previous first-quarter record, with about 30 percent of all postpaid smartphone subscribers on 4G-capable devices
  • 726,000 total wireless net adds, with gains in every customer category
  • Postpaid wireless churn of 1.1 percent, lowest level in seven quarters
  • Record first-quarter branded computing (tablets, tethering plans, etc.) net adds of 460,000 to reach a total of 5.8 million, up almost 70 percent versus a year ago
  • Postpaid wireless subscriber ARPU (average monthly revenues per subscriber), up 1.7 percent to $64.46

AT&T also managed to outsell rival Verizon, who pushed 3.2 million iPhones, and 21% of iPhone buyers were new AT&T subscribers. Despite being a 43% drop compared to Q4, whi, this was a record quarter for AT&T's smartphone sales, and it's thanks in no small part to the iPhone.

It's not surprising see the iPhone 4S still selling so well, despite being at mid-point in its product cycle. The iPhone has traditionally sold stronger, longer than any other handset on the market.

When asked which carrier shoppers would be interested in siding with should an LTE iPhone be launched this fall, the line was pretty evenly split between AT&T and Verizon among our forum-goers. Of course, that's a ways off, and might give AT&T enough time to catch up to Verizon's LTE coverage.

Source: AT&T, pic

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Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

AT&T activates 4.3 million iPhones in Q1 2012, accounts for 78% of smartphone sales

10 Comments

This is why I can't send the iMessage 'lol' while anywhere on their network in downtown Chicago and why most all of my calls get dropped. Don't sign new customers into your system until you actually attempt to fix the congestion (this has been six months)!

I'd like to know the share of Verizon smart phone sales. Everyone already knows AT&T sells lots and lots of iPhones.

Verizon's 3G data is soooooo slow in New York. It switches from 3G to Edge way too frequently.
I had AT&T for 3 1/2 years prior and while their data is quicker, I constantly had dropped calls from AT&T. While on Verizon, I'm able to actually retain a phone call!

Verizon doesn't have an EDGE network in New York. I'm guessing you mean 1xRTT which is extremely slow. In some cases, AT&T and T-Mobile's EDGE networks seem faster than Verizon's 3G. New York is congested though, so it will be harder to get faster speeds. I be "WiFi thuggin'" when I'm in areas with slow data speeds.

Re: "...this was a record first quarter for AT&T’s smartphone sales, and it’s thanks in no small part to the iPhone."
Winning

It's a mystery to me why AT&T haven't unlocked sooner. When folks upgrade, they'll pass the phones to family members. Get more data revenue, while paying one less subsidy.
Unlocking the phones should help with AT&T's profit margin, I would think. Or is the fear that it'll prompt exodus to T-Mobile that great?

How would unlocking help AT&T? Unlocking only means you can use it outside if the USA or on T-Mobile. A locked AT&T phone can be passed to anyone to use in AT&T. So either way their is one less subsidy, but no gain in data revenue. Only possible lost revenue.

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