AT&T says it activated one million iPhone 4S units as of Tuesday


AT&T just issued a press release saying they activated one million iPhone 4S units, or one-quarter of the four million devices Apple sold during the launch weekend. It’s the most successful launch in AT&T’s history, the company wrote in the release:

AT&T today announced it activated more than 1 million iPhone 4S’ as of Tuesday, making it the most successful iPhone launch in the company’s history. AT&T was the first carrier in the world to launch iPhone in 2007 and is the only U.S. carrier to support iPhone 4S with 4G speeds. “It’s no surprise that customers are clamoring for iPhone 4S and they want it to run on a network that lets them download twice as fast as competitors’,” said Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO, AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets. AT&T’s speed advantage, and the unique ability to talk and surf at the same time, has been roundly praised by industry pundits.

About those “4G speeds”…

AT&T is reportedly pushing Apple to put a “4G” cellular icon on iPhone 4S to represent its faster Internet connection, which theoretically hits 3G HSPA 14.4 Mbps speeds (lawmakers wouldn’t approve of that). The carrier also released a customer testimonial video, included above, with people explaining why they opted for an iPhone 4S on the AT&T network (hint: because it’s “super-fast”).

Taking into account September quarter earnings, iPhone 4S sales in just a few days since last Friday’s launch hit nearly one-third of the 2.7 million iPhones activated in the last quarter which was down from the 3.2 million iPhones from the year ago September 2010 quarter (which included the iPhone 4 launch).

Note that this is one million iPhone 4Ss only, excluding the newly price-reduced iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS units.

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Apple is selling almost 1,000 iPhone 4Ss/minute, setting it up to be the fastest selling gadget ever

Shawn Blanc (via The Next Web) calculated this morning that Apple is selling 16 iPhone 4Ss a second, or roughly 1,000 a minute. Blanc’s figuring comes after Apple announced this morning that there were 4 million iPhone 4Ss sold its opening three-day weekend. Figures are also expected to expand as the iPhone 4S is introduced in 22 more countries on the 24th.

Reaching this milestone, Apple is on tract to pass Microsoft’s Kinect as the fastest selling consumer device of all time. Microsoft sold 8 million Kinects in the first 60 days, a number Apple could theoretically pass in the first two weeks.

The success of the iPhone 4S is most likely helped by a few factors:

  1. The availability on three U.S. carriers: AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. AT&T and Sprint both announced opening day sales records on Friday. The iPhone 4 was only on AT&T in the US its opening day.
  2. iPhone 4 was released in 5 countries. iPhone 4S was also available in Canada and Australia in addition.
  3. iPhone 4 saw serious product shortages while it appears that Apple made plenty of iPhone 4Ss (OK, maybe not)
  4. There was a longer than normal wait time between the iPhone 4 and 4S (15 months)
  5. iPhone 4S is amazing.

We’re sure to hear more in Apple’s FYQ4 earnings call tomorrow afternoon.

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The iPhone payoff: Sprint reports best sales day ever – by 1PM ET

Sprint took a big risk on the iPhone, paying a rumored $20B up front to get the iPhone over the next four years (that is some pipeline!).

Mr. Hesse told the board the carrier would have to agree to purchase at least 30.5 million iPhones over the next four years—a commitment of $20 billion at current rates—whether or not it could find people to buy them, according to people familiar with the matter. In order to keep the price people pay for the phone low and competitive with rivals, Sprint would be subsidizing the cost of each phone to the tune of about $500, which would take a long time to recoup even at the high monthly fees iPhone users pay.

Directors debated what they had just heard. Some worried the payoff would be too long in coming. One member questioned whether the multiyear deal might outlast the iPhone’s popularity. To sell that many iPhones, Sprint would have to double its rolls of contract customers, convert all of them to the Apple device or a combination of the two.

It appears that the risk is already starting to pay off.

Today, spokeswoman Michelle Mermelstein told us:

Fared Adib, Sprint Product Chief, issued the following statement: “Sprint today reported its best ever day of sales in retail, web and telesales for a device family in Sprint history with the launch of iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. We reached this milestone at approximately noon CT/1pm ET. The response to this device by current and new customers has surpassed our expectations and validates our customers’ desire for a truly unlimited data pricing plan.”

Unlimited is a good thing.

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Are you having issues activating your AT&T iPhone?

Readers are writing in to tell us that AT&T is backlogged on their iPhone activations while Verizon and Sprint appear to be handling the load a little better.

One reason is likely sheer numbers. Our survey (below) shows that US users are picking AT&T over Verizon and Sprint by a significant margin (mostly for the Data speed). We’ve also heard that Apple was expecting this and stocking up to five times as many AT&T iPhone 4Ss as Sprint or Verizon iPhones.

So which iPhone did you pick up?

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iPhone 4S sells out completely across U.S. carriers

The iPhone 4S has sold out completely across AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint reports Businessweek. While you can still get your order in, delivery in AT&T’s case has been pushed back 3 -4 weeks. Shipping should be similar for Verizon and Sprint too, but they aren’t providing a time frame on their website.

Apple announced it had sold 1 million iPhone 4Ss across 100 world carriers in 24 hours in contrast with 600,000 across the five launch countries in 2010 with the iPhone 4.

Tomorrow the iPhone 4S goes on sale, and stores should have an extra stock of the iPhone 4S for those who haven’t pre-ordered yet. To get your hands on those, you’ll probably have to hop in line pretty early.  Read more