AT&T makes it rain with its best ever quarter for Android and Apple phones, 7.6 million iPhones activated

AT&T makes it rain with its best ever quarter for Android and Apple phones, 7.6 million iPhones activated
AT&T's Q4 results are in, and it is battling it out with Verizon's numbers just fine, to put it modestly. The carrier added 2.5 million subscribers for a total of 103.2 million, and earned $4.4 billion, excluding one-time charges like the T-Mobile merger breakup fee. It also increased the ARPU for a 12th quarter in a row, raking in $63.76 monthly per customer, which it was quick to note is "more than $6 higher than the nearest competitor".

Another jab at Verizon was taken when AT&T mentioned it sold way more iPhones than Big Red, 7.6 million in total, the vast majority of which have been the iPhone 4S. To put it in perspective, Apple said it sold 37 million handsets in Q4, so AT&T represents over 20% of its iPhone revenue, a really impressive number and probably Apple's single largest customer.

Actually the carrier logged its best quarter ever for smartphones, selling 9.4 million of those, almost double the number in Q3. The "best ever" phrase was once again applied regarding the total number of Android and Apple smartphones sold in Q4, with Android handsets doubling over the previous year.

Wireless now makes 50% of AT&T's revenue mix, and data consumption in particular saw significant growth from a year earlier, logging in nearly $1 billion of revenue for the quarter. The carrier boasted that "iPhone sales were helped by a superior customer experience, with AT&T delivering download speeds up to three-times faster than on other U.S. carriers’ networks", which no doubt contributed to this surge in data consumption, hence revenue, but AT&T also sold 571, 000 broadband devices, 311, 000 of which were tablets.

One line in particular caught our attention: "The average ARPU for smartphones on AT&T’s network is 1.9 times that of the company’s non-smartphone devices". This surely explains the carrier's willingness to shell out huge subsidies for high-end smartphone devices, knowing it will recoup the upfront costs faster.

source: AT&T

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