Apple’s US network partner AT&T this morning revealed positive financial results, boosted by its wireless unit profits climbed 22 per cent. However, investors were disappointed at the lack of any immediate breakdown in iPhone sales, sending Apple’s stock on a downward trajectory, currently trading at $160.26 (down $7.90).

Investor anxiety is high at present, with deepening gloom in the US economy and depressing forward analyses of consumer electronic spending. And with Apple set to reveal its Q2 FY 2008 financial results tomorrow, lack of an admitted iPhone sales boost seems to have been sufficient to drive the sell-off, regarded by some on financial bulletin boards as representing particularly heavy trading.

Despite the malaise, AT&T did admit some iPhone goodness: "iPhone continues to be very popular with customers, feedback is very good," the company said.

AT&T also confirmed a high average revenue per iPhone user, characterising these as in the "mid to upper 90’s" across its customer base.

The iPhone’s also acting as a miracle cure to attract new users to AT&T, the company admitted. "We continue to see customers adopting iPhone. Over 40 per cent are new to us."

AT&T’s 22 per cent gains were driven, at least in part, by iPhone usage and sales. The company revealed an 18.3 per cent increase in wireless revenues with wireless data revenues from areas such as internet access, messaging and media bundles up 57.3 per cent.

AT&T’s reported first-quarter 2008 net income totaled $3.5 billion, up 21.5 percent from $2.8 billion in the year-earlier first quarter, and reported earnings per diluted share totaled $0.57, up 26.7 percent from $0.45 in the first quarter of 2007.

All eyes now fix on Apple’s financial results announcement tomorrow. Analysts are generally optimistic on what is to be revealed, but many will be looking to Apple’s traditionally conservative guidance to figure out just how well company management hope to survive the current downturn.

 

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