AT&T Adds 1.2M Smartphones, 566,000 New Subscribers in Q4 2013

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    AT&T today announced its 4Q 2013 earnings, revealing the company added 1.2 million postpaid smartphones to its network (both upgrades and new subscribers) and gained 809,000 new subscribers, with 566,000 being postpaid customers with a contract. It is unclear how many of AT&T's new customers were choosing iPhones, however, as AT&T, like Verizon, no longer reports quarterly iPhone activations or sales.

    Smartphones made up 93 percent of total phone sales and 77 percent of the postpaid phone base. The carrier also added 440,000 new tablets during the quarter.

    Compared to the year-ago quarter, AT&T gained 300,000 fewer new subscribers, but saw a record low contract churn rate of 1.11 percent and an overall churn rate of 1.43 percent. A company's churn rate is the percentage of customers that leave the carrier during the quarter. It appears that AT&T is managing to retain most of its subscriber base at this point, but during the next quarter, T-Mobile's efforts to lure AT&T customers may become more apparent.

    AT&T Next, AT&T's smartphone and tablet upgrade program, has drawn more than 1.5 million customers since it was first launched in July of 2013.

    Earlier in January, AT&T competitor Verizon announced smartphone activations of 8.8 million along with 1.7 million new subscribers. Verizon continues to have a bigger postpaid customer base than AT&T at 96.2 million wireless customers compared to AT&T's 72.6 million.

    Overall, AT&T announced a profit of $6.9 billion on $33.2 billion in revenue.

    Article Link: AT&T Adds 1.2M Smartphones, 566,000 New Subscribers in Q4 2013
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    6.9 Billion? That's it? Can't people see they are bleeding for money and cannot afford unlimited data or cheaper plans? Poor CEO has to be flown in a two year old Jet.
     
  3. JAT
    macrumors 603

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    #3
    I wouldn't post the raw churn numbers, either. Looks like it is probably the same or even higher than the new customers. Ex: 100m times 1.43% = 1.43m lost. And I think they are around 100m subs.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

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    #4
    What's the reason why AT&T and Verizon are no longer reporting quarterly iPhone activations/sales? Have they been told by Apple to do that or are they doing it for another reason?
     
  5. CEmajr, Jan 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014

    macrumors 68040

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    #5
    So with Verizon and T-Mobile posting over 1 million subscribers and AT&T around 560K, I'm expecting to see a massive loss of Sprint subscribers for the quarter.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    Cuban Missles

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    #6
    I was one of those that upgraded to the iPhone 5s and as a result got a new 2-year contract with AT&T. first I was hit with a $35 fee at the Apple store which they told me AT&T charge for the phone switch - okay I thought, new sim card some work in their system, etc.

    When I got my bill however, I say that I had to pay two months - it seems that if you switch in the middle of a bill cycle they charge you one month on the old phone and one on the new phone. I complained and got nothing. Trust me, as soon as I am able I will churn away from AT&T. I would pefer to work with a vendor that has more reasonable billing policies.

    ----------

    Let me start by saying I have no firm facts on which to base my following statement. I suspect it is because they do not want to show how poorly some other phones are doing so its better to lump everything together. The reason I make this statement is that I have been told repeatedly that at the AT&T and Verizon stores, the sales folks work on commission/bonus. And they get almost no commission/bonus for iPhones. This is typically why you will find the sales staff pushing you to wards just about any phone other than something with an apple on it. I therefore suspect it is not in their interest to show any gains for phones from which they get no commission/bonuses (*cough kickbacks *cough).

    Just my theory.
     
  7. macrumors member

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    #7
    have you heard of a company called T-mobile? They now even pay your Early Termination Fee. you just need to trade a working cheap phone. I gave ATT the finger 3 months ago and I'm so glad I did even without the termination fee offer.
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    keysofanxiety

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    #8
    Yet Apple made 15 billion in profit, and we're still paying through the nose for their products.

    All companies are in it for profit.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Apple doesn't overcharge people or create hidden fees. They tell you, upfront, what the cost of their product is. And you know you're getting great service and support, at no cost (for the first year). They made 15 billion in profit, and every cent was earned without coercion.

    All companies are in it for profit - but it's only some of them that become misleading and dishonest to achieve their goals.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

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    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/t-posts-4q-profit-higher-212634374.html

    The nation's biggest telecommunications company said Tuesday that it earned $6.9 billion, or $1.31 per share, in the October-December period. That's up from a loss of $3.8 billion, or 68 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

    The latest quarter's results included a pension-related gain of $7.6 billion, tax expenses and other items. Excluding these items, adjusted earnings were 53 cents per share in the latest quarter, beating analysts' expectations by 2 cents.


    In other words, if you exclude the one-time gains, profits were more like $2.8 billion. That's a profit margin of about 8.5%.

    How does that compare to other domestic telecom providers?

    http://biz.yahoo.com/p/844qpmd.html

    The average net profit margin is 7.7%. For the entire technology sector, it's 7.23%.

    For another comparison, you'll find Apple, Inc. in the Consumer Goods > Electronic Equipment sector:

    http://biz.yahoo.com/p/314conameu.html

    Their last quarterly report was $13.1 billion profit on $57.6 billion in revenue, a 22.7% profit margin.

    ----------

    AT&T isn't coercing you or anyone else. You are free to go to another provider or go without a cell phone altogether, as long as you pay back any contract termination fee to cover the remaining cost of the $600 phone they sold you for $200.

    The only organization coercing you into paying them money is your local, state, or federal government. Even if you have only a single choice for power, landline telephone, cable TV, etc., it's due to franchise agreements with your local government.
     
  11. macrumors G5

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    #11
    Apple doesn't overcharge people is a matter of opinion. It all depends on what to perceive of value. Just like with ATT services. For areas where ATT provides better service than other carriers - it's of great value to be a customer of theirs. Again subjective.

    As for ATT - no one forces anyone to sign a contract. And that contract doesn't have hidden fees. And if they try and change your contract before it's up - you have the ability to walk away. You are not "coerced" into using their services. Do you know what the word "coerce" means?

    Criticizing ATT for making a nice profit and praising Apple for making theirs is nothing more than cheerleading because you happen to like one company over another. To the rest of the world it appears hypocritical.
     
  12. macrumors 601

    Plutonius

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    #12
    Of course they are.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Sounds like a viable theory to me.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    UnfetteredMind

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    #14
    Just finishing our switch to T-Mobile. We'll be saving over $120/month. Bye bye ATT!
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    69Mustang

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    #15
    Why do we see conspiracies around every corner? Implying kickbacks is kind of low. How about it's just business. The marketing hype they got from reporting iPhone sales was good for a time but the market is more mature and they no longer feel the need to highlight their iPhone sales. There's no more cachet to saying "We sold X number of iPhones." Everybody sells iPhones: Walmart, Target, Costco, MVNO's, etc. Since we're just tossing theories like horseshoes... here's one: Pretty soon the telcos are going to get away from subsidies. AT&T already said the model is unsustainable. Take a guess which phone has benefited the most from the subsidy model? Why mention that phone in your earnings reports when the way you've had the most success selling them is going away in the future?

    Like you, I have no facts. I think my theory is just as viable.
     
  16. JAT
    macrumors 603

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    #16
    I would call the following coercion, or at least near-criminal behavior:

    • The way unlimited data was dropped
    • The current plans where you are forced to buy unlimited minutes and spend more than previously for data
    • AT&T Next

    Same for VZW's very nearly identical plans. (and I'm a VZW customer atm)

    Apple has plenty of high priced products that I will never buy due to the price. But I still find good value in many of their products. Mainly, in operating systems.

    ----------

    I believe they had some bandwagon-type reasons for doing it in the first place, and those have gone away as the iPhone has become mainstream for all carriers. It's really not that important, as some here (whether proponents or dissidents) will make it out to be.
     
  17. ptb42, Jan 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014

    macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    AT&T stopped offering unlimited data plans. You could continue your existing unlimited plan: you just couldn't get a new contract with it. And, you could always go to T-Mobile or Sprint, or even Straight Talk (pre-paid): all offer unlimited plans.

    That's not coercion, that's a decision to stop selling a service under those terms. If it's coercion, then GM did the same thing when they shut down the Saturn brand.

    I actually saved money (about $20/month) by switching to a shared data plan with unlimited talk and text. Together, my wife and I never use more than a couple of gigabytes/month, and we both got tethering -- which was never offered with unlimited plans. Your mileage may vary, but it hardly rises to the level of "coercion" or "criminal".

    I agree that AT&T Next is a bad deal, and I've explicitly warned people to avoid it. But, the terms are there in black and white, and it's an option -- not a requirement. If someone can't do the math and figure out it's a bad deal, that's their problem. If it's "coercion" or "criminal", then every automobile dealer would be in jail after selling the high-profit options like "protection packages", and nearly every big-box retailer would join them for "extended warranties".

    You are confusing "I don't like this" with "I'm being forced to do this". AT&T isn't forcing you or anyone else to do something unwillingly. Stomping your feet and throwing a tantrum is for 2-year-old's, not for an adult that voluntarily signs a contract.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    #18
    dang that's a lot. well its probably closer to 100$ saving after you actually see the bill from tmobile. tax and stuff.

    but that's a lot in saving. 1200$ a year. how many lines did you switch?
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    UnfetteredMind

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    #19
    Nope, it's actually more than $120/mo in my case. I moved from my old iPhone 4 to a cellular iPad Mini Retina (I work at home most of the time, etc) and went with the free 200MB/mo option (FREE!) using VoIP via Google Voice. We retired my wife's old iPhone 3g (yes, just g, not gs, lol) and she took my old iPhone 4 (100 min talk, unlimited everything else, first 5GB of data at 4G speed, if the iPhone 4 were capable) for $30/mo prepaid (with taxes, $30.42). Our ATT bill was OVER $155 every month, typically over $157 with taxes, etc. Thank you T-Mo, you're my new besty! LOL Even if she goes over the 100 mins talk (at 10 cents/min), there's no way we'll get close to what we were paying before with ATT. We just don't talk on the phone that much (and can use FaceTime audio or video with many people we do talk to).

    With the savings (~$1500/year), we can each get a new device outright every damn year if we wanted.
     
  20. JAT
    macrumors 603

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    #20
    You lost the right to speak to me right there. Bye!
     
  21. macrumors member

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    #21
    This is definitely not the norm. I'm glad it worked out for your situation, but I've looked into the transition from AT&T to T-Mobile. Moving 5 lines, all needing data, all needing new phones if we were to have T-Mo pay our ETF's, with the same type of service we have now would actually cost about 10 dollars a month more if we were to make the switch. So not much would change other than we'd have new phones with horrible coverage. Again, subjective like a previous poster said. It's not going to work out for everyone to make a switch, although I'm thrilled it did for you! $1500 bucks is a lot of money to save! Congrats.
     
  22. macrumors G5

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    #22
    What you're leaving out - is that these same companies also have quotas for iPhone sales because Apple has contracts with them to sell a minimum per year. That's why Sprint has taken a beating.

    So one company might offer incentives to sell their phone (or higher profit margin) but the other has you contracted to sell a certain amount or eat the cost.

    Sounds like two sides of a similar coin. And it must be a challenge to be a manager at a store where on a corporate level you don't want to cost the company $ but at the same time, you want to keep your employees around making commissions.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    Cuban Missles

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    #23
    Great rebuttle! Makes a lot of sense.
     
  24. ptb42, Jan 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014

    macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I'm sorry that the truth hurt so much, and you certainly don't have to read/listen.

    But, you made your accusation in a public forum, and you should have a thick enough skin to handle a rebuttal.
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    UnfetteredMind

    Joined:
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    #25
    Totally agree we're likely an odd case. Not many would likely move to using an iPad Mini as their phone, but it works ok for the way I use mine. I do need to add in the cost of a light vest (like the Scottevest) for carrying it around in the summer as well, but that won't be anywhere near $1500, lol

    ATT coverage at our house is also not great, dropped calls, "Searching for service," etc and the stupid tower is literally within a mile on top of a small hill, I don't get it. So far, T-Mo has been fine so we have that benefit as well.

    For those that don't talk much on the phone (us), the $30/mo plan with 5GB at 4G speeds is pretty sweet.
     

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