Following Apple’s earnings results yesterday, AT&T just announced its fourth-quarter results and highlighted record smartphones sales and a record 8.6-million iPhone activations. In its results, the company said that 16 percent of iPhone activations were to new customers, while it also noted that it saw the best quarter ever for Android sales. It all added up to record sales, the most ever among any U.S. carrier, with 10.2 million units sold during the quarter. In comparison, earlier this week, Verizon reported its Q4 numbers and highlighted a record 6.2 million iPhones for the quarter, representing almost two-thirds of its 9.8-million smartphone activations.

In the quarter, the company activated a record 8.6 million iPhones, with 16 percent new to AT&T. The company also had its best-ever sales quarter for Android smartphones.

AT&T also reported its largest increase in three years for subscribers with 780,000 wireless postpaid net adds and a total increase in total net wireless subscribers of 1.1 million. As for LTE, the company said 55 percent of postpaid smartphone customers were 4G-capable devices while LTE should roll out to 250 million or more people by the end of 2013:

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Smartphones Represent 89 Percent of Postpaid Phone Sales. AT&T sold a record 10.2 million smartphones in the fourth quarter. Smartphones represented 86 percent of postpaid device sales and 89 percent of postpaid phone sales in the quarter. At the end of the quarter, 69.6 percent, or 47.1 million, of AT&T’s postpaid phone subscribers had smartphones, up from 58.5 percent, or 39.4 million, a year earlier. AT&T’s ARPU for smartphones is twice that of non-smartphone subscribers, and about 90 percent of smartphone subscribers are on FamilyTalk®, Mobile Share or business plans. Churn levels for these subscribers are significantly lower than for other postpaid subscribers. About 55 percent of AT&T’s postpaid smartphone customers now use a 4G-capable device.

The company also reported record cash from operations of $39.2 billion, an increase in Consolidated revenues to $32.6 billion, wireless revenues up 5.7 percent year-over-year to $17.6 billion, as well as $23 billion returned to shareholders in 2012 through share repurchases and dividends. 

Record Smartphone Sales and Strong Wireless Postpaid Net Adds

  • Wireless revenues up 5.7 percent versus the year-ago quarter; wireless service revenues up 4.2 percent
  • 780,000 wireless postpaid net adds, largest increase in three years; 1.1 million increase in total net wireless subscribers
  • Record smartphone sales of 10.2 million, the most ever sold by any U.S. carrier; postpaid smartphone customer base now 47.1 million, up 2.5 million from third-quarter 2012
  • Smartphones 89 percent of postpaid phone sales
  • Postpaid wireless subscriber ARPU (average monthly revenues per subscriber) up 1.9 percent to $64.98

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