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



1. gotti88

Posts: 101; Member since: Jul 06, 2011

go att thats what im talkin about lets get this money.

2. bigdawg23

Posts: 467; Member since: May 25, 2011

When reports like this come out, it just proves price isn't the only thing on consumers minds. Sure I could go to Sprint or T-Mo and save a little. But in my case get slow 3G on Sprint and slow 4G, while on T-Mo have less coverage. I do not experience the common complaints of Dropped calls and slow data connection on AT&T. For me AT&T it far better then even VZW. It will be interesting to see what comes from subscriber increase when they have LTE more widely available.

5. issa8

Posts: 54; Member since: Jul 26, 2011

So how long have you been working for AT&T?

9. shimmyx20

Posts: 280; Member since: Mar 03, 2009

It's OK to admit that in some areas AT&T is the best carrier. There are also some areas where AT&T may be the worst carrier. It all depends on where you live and where you use your phone the most.

10. ZayZay

Posts: 571; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

Just like all carriers. Some ares are perfect or close to it, some areas not so much.

15. issa8

Posts: 54; Member since: Jul 26, 2011

Yeah, you're right i'm just busting his chops. I've been an AT&T customer for many years, and overall throughout California (SF, Silicon Valley, LA, San Luis Obispo, SD) my service has been incredibly horrible. But you're right that's just my experience. I'm just a little bitter about their horrible customer service and extremely long wait times. Wanted to switch but the constant new releases of better and better phones keeps stopping me. Anyone have any opinions about T-Mobile's service in California, particularly in the bay area?

3. tech-head

Posts: 133; Member since: Sep 02, 2011

They'll probable make even more moolah with Microsoft and Nokia in their corner this year.

4. jtucker1987

Posts: 89; Member since: May 06, 2010

I need to ask, has AT&T gotten better over the last year? I've read articles about them improving. Can anyone tell me if NYC has improved? I'm moving there in a couple months and wanted to know.

7. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Everywhere has improved. I travel a lot and I used to have an almost impossible experience in LA or San Francisco or NYC; nowadays, on the rare occasions it occurs, I'll only drop a call or data connection while using it moving around in a bus or taxi, but that's pretty typical of any carrier

8. jtucker1987

Posts: 89; Member since: May 06, 2010

Well that's good to know. I guess my biggest concern would be data speeds during peak hours in Manhattan since I use more data than voice anymore. Do you happen to know?

6. Richcop

Posts: 19; Member since: Aug 02, 2009

AT&T has great coverage around the Boston area and the LTE is blazing fast. I am currently on Sprint but changing my five lines over when the Galaxy Note or Skyrocket HD come out :)

11. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

Down here in Orlando, My Skyrocket got 56MBPS during peak hours. Very impressive.

12. BluAmaranth

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 28, 2011

Awesome, now maybe they can stop moving their jobs offshore and leaving people unemployeed!!

13. paulyyd

Posts: 340; Member since: Jan 08, 2011

just should point out that the iPhone accounted for 80% of smartphones sold for att

14. omarc26

Posts: 360; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

at&t is great in los angeles got 40 mbps on my nitro on LTE even in san fransisco i had zero dropped calls. i admit last year like the person above me said at&t was impossible to use in LA and san fransisco it has improved greatly! i have had less dropped falls than all my friends on verizon and sprint .

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.