AT&T reports lower Q1 earnings despite 2.7 million iPhones activated in the period

AT&T reports lower Q1 earnings despite 2.7 million iPhones activated in the period
The new health care bill forced AT&T to take a nearly $1 billion charge against its first quarter earnings and as a result, the company reported that it earned 21% less than the year ago period. If not for the one time write off, it would have been an exceptional quarter for the company as 1.9 million new wireless accounts were opened-a company record for the first quarter. Of that total, 512,000 were postpaid customers who have signed a contract with the operator. The vast majority of new customers-1.1 million-fell into the connected devices category which includes items like e-book readers or other non phone devices that have wireless built-in. For the three months, AT&T activated 2.7 million iPhones and now has 87 million wireless customers which puts them a close second to Verizon Wireless which has 91 million customers. AT&T Wireless turned in some improving internal numbers as churn dropped to 1.3% and postpaid churn dropped to 1.07% Those are the best numbers that the carrier has ever turned in for those two categories and it is the fifth consecutive quarter of year over year improvement. Wireless margins rose to 29.9% in the first quarter from 26.9% in the previous year. That improvement is credited to iPhone customers who spend more money each year that they have the touchscreen device.

source: AllThingsDigital

Graph courtesy of All Things Digital

Graph courtesy of All Things Digital


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20 Comments

1. WnnaFghtAboutIt

Posts: 149; Member since: Aug 31, 2009

but remember at&t counts tracfone subs as "theirs"....take those off and its not even a close second

4. rwolf1984

Posts: 536; Member since: Jun 06, 2009

that would be like Sprint not counting Boost and Virgin mobile...its separate brands owned by the same company..

6. ding2134

Posts: 38; Member since: Dec 30, 2008

But remember, what carrier doesnt? wah wah

10. BLikens1619

Posts: 67; Member since: Apr 12, 2008

And remember that verizon had to buy Alltel to become the largest.

12. stix26

Posts: 21; Member since: Feb 03, 2010

And remember that At&t had to buy Cingular to become the largest. Before that Verizon had been the larges for years.

13. Nobodey

Posts: 76; Member since: Jan 03, 2010

Show of hands, who here thinks AT&T bought Cingular?

17. whocares

Posts: 235; Member since: Dec 19, 2009

Actually cingular bought at&t and took over the name. Owned.

2. Mateo8326

Posts: 472; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

All companies will have there ups and downs in quarter revenue sometime in their business that's life

3. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the part of the story thats important is the postpaid. they only had 500k postpaid customers. thats really bad. they had to fluff their #s with prepaids and "connected" devices which arent phones or contracted. they arent tmobile, they dont do a "no contract" plan. vzw kills them in thier #s and they dont include prepaid and "connected" in the same category as "postpaid". cant wait to see what happens when they lose iphone exclusivity.

5. rwolf1984

Posts: 536; Member since: Jun 06, 2009

"e-book readers or other non phone devices that have wireless built-in" Would netbooks also be a connected device? those are contracted...

11. JeffdaBeat unregistered

Actually, all the carriers include their pre-paid numbers in their total gross adds. Sprint also did it when the Kindle used their cellular network to download books to the device. AT&T does do no-contract. If you walk into a store with your own device, there is no contract to enter into.

14. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the difference is, when you go no contract with t-mobile you get a much cheaper plan with the same features. not just "not having a contract". Yes, all companies do that.. but Tmobile is the only "big 4" carrier that actually offers cheaper pricing for its no contract services compared to the same plan on contract.. and phone financing to make it the "no-brainer" choice between contract or no contract. Look at the numbers again. more carriers than not differentiate between postpaid and other device. its not "activations/new service" its "post paid contracts".

7. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

The name of the wireless division of AT&T is AT&T MOBILITY - AT&T WIRELESS was the crappy company that CINGULAR bought out years ago....

9. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

Yeah, AT&T as a company ceased to exist a while ago after it was split up and then all the former splits were bought by other companies. The last was when SBC bought the remaining AT&T brand in 2005 and then changed names so its not really the same legal entity AT&T we used to know. AT&T wireless was spun off in 2001 and bought by Cingular in 2004 and then Cingular bought Bell South [a former ATT and Cingular joint venture company that had been getting bigger and bigger] and then in 2007 Cingular changed it s name to AT&T Wireless after AT&T Inc bought out the rest of the former Bell South. CRAZY!

8. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Wireless is expanding beyond cell phones, and AT&T is smartly leading in that field of emerging devices - you go where the money is, folks....open your eyes....dog tags, bottle caps, picture frames, e-readers.....the future of our country is upon us.

20. iHateCrapple

Posts: 734; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

How is ATT leading?

15. Jyakotu

Posts: 867; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

AT&T is rebranding themselves now. They're trying to reach a broader audience, which is smart on their part.

16. jogutier

Posts: 324; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

What's not smart of them is their sucky azz coverage. There's no arguing that. Have a nice day.

18. whocares

Posts: 235; Member since: Dec 19, 2009

Maybe where you're standing. Its great where I am.

19. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Verizon had less than 500K gains for postpaid subscribers - and over 1 million of the crappy prepaid additions....oops....and BTW - thanks for the history lesson corps1089

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