iPhone Drives AT&T's Record-Smashing Quarter for Smartphone Sales with 7.6 Million Activations

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
46,847
8,984



AT&T today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2011, revealing that the carrier saw record-smashing sales of 9.4 million smartphones, nearly double the previous quarter's sales and 50% higher than the company's previous record. The iPhone was clearly the primary driver of smartphone sales for AT&T, as the carrier reported 7.6 million iPhone activations during that quarter, with the "majority" of those activations being iPhone 4S devices.
In the fourth quarter, the company set a new record with 9.4 million smartphones sold, nearly double the number sold in the third quarter and 50 percent more than the previous quarterly record. Fourth-quarter smartphone sales represented more than 80 percent of postpaid device sales. Both iPhone and Android device sales set records. During the quarter, more than 7.6 million iPhones were activated, the majority of which were iPhone 4S, which went on sale Oct. 14, and more than twice as many Android smartphones were sold versus the fourth quarter a year ago. 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.
The iPhone and total smartphone numbers can not be directly compared, however, as the "activations" number AT&T reports for iPhones includes used devices activated on new contracts such as when a user's old device is sold or given away upon upgrading.




AT&T also touts its lead over Verizon in iPhone activations, noting that it has continued to easily outpace Verizon every quarter since AT&T lost exclusivity on the iPhone in early 2011.




Finally, AT&T notes that it has continued to improve its voice and data network, with more than 80% of data traffic now coming over the carrier's enhanced backhaul that allows for "4G" speeds on devices supporting at least HSPA+, such as the iPhone 4S. The carrier also reports that "call retainability", an inverse measure of dropped call rates, has continued to increase and was over 99% throughout the quarter for 3G connections on a nationwide basis.

Article Link: iPhone Drives AT&T's Record-Smashing Quarter for Smartphone Sales with 7.6 Million Activations
 

FakeWozniak

macrumors 6502
Nov 8, 2007
428
27
Combined with Verizon and Sprint (numbers later, probably pocket change), this is likely the proof that iOS surpassed all the Android vendors combined in the US in Q4. Of course the Android vendors don't consistently publish numbers.
 

voonyx

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2011
842
0
So people don't actually care about 4G and 4" screens? Hmmm, didn't see that coming. :rolleyes:
 

basesloaded190

macrumors 68030
Oct 16, 2007
2,693
5
Wisconsin
I am clearly in the minority, but I have 0 problems with AT&T so I'm glad to see that they are still activating all these phones. Now let's get real 4G rolling out this year!
 
Last edited:

WannaGoMac

macrumors 68020
Feb 11, 2007
2,347
2,977
Good for AT&T. Now work on getting a much more reliable connection, or one that works when iphone reports a FULL signal yet no connectivity.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,400
12,410
A story on ATT's quarterly results and nary a mention of the $6.68 billion loss they posted.
 

WannaGoMac

macrumors 68020
Feb 11, 2007
2,347
2,977
So people don't actually care about 4G and 4" screens? Hmmm, didn't see that coming. :rolleyes:

Actually I do and got the 4s since I had no other choice as I wanted an iphone. Don't forget, if you like iOS you have to use whatever Apple doles out, there is no choice.
 

voonyx

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2011
842
0
Actually I do and got the 4s since I had no other choice as I wanted an iphone. Don't forget, if you like iOS you have to use whatever Apple doles out, there is no choice.
The point being made is that 4G and 4 inch screens are not a necessity like some androids say it is, nor is it something that obviously will hurt iPhone's sales as androids swore it would.
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,563
32
So people don't actually care about 4G and 4" screens? Hmmm, didn't see that coming. :rolleyes:
4G or not ... I'm not complaining with 6mb/s!

Still dislike AT&T as a company. Only offer an unlimited texting plan? Wtf? And those data plans..

And I'm actually fine with 3.5" too. iPhone is optimized with it and I never felt that it feels small. I know others feel differently but I'm just stating my opinion.
 

voonyx

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2011
842
0
4G or not ... I'm not complaining with 6mb/s!

Still dislike AT&T as a company. Only offer an unlimited texting plan? Wtf? And those data plans..

And I'm actually fine with 3.5" too. iPhone is optimized with it and I never felt that it feels small. I know others feel differently but I'm just stating my opinion.
Yeah, it's a form factor that works for many millions of people. Of course some people would like a bigger screen, or faster speeds but these are not things that determine what people buy, nor does it make an android phone better then an iPhone. The numbers speak for themselves
 

uknowimright

macrumors 6502a
Dec 30, 2011
810
390
The point being made is that 4G and 4 inch screens are not a necessity like some androids say it is, nor is it something that obviously will hurt iPhone's sales as androids swore it would.

they are not saying it's a necessity, they are saying it should be an option

I hate wearing one size fits all shirts, you don't?
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
10,633
2,773
Bay Area
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

GuyiOSncognito said:
Due to the high cost of doing business with Apple, "record smashing" iPhone sales are a direct contributor to short term losses. Companies need higher margin Android and Blackberry devices to offset. It's no coincidence that both ATT and Verizon showed huge iPhone numbers for 4Q but both had losses.
Actually, it kinda is a coincidence. Verizon's loss had to do with a one time multi billion dollar payout, and AT&T's with the failed merger.

I like AT&T. Had them since the first iPhone, and I find their service really good. Not only in Boston where I live but everywhere I've traveled, too. And I can't see going with any other carrier as long as we've got 3G. That said, Verizon has done SUCH a better job with lte deployment that I could see switching to them when the next iPhone comes out, unless AT&T has really built out their lte network by then.
 

Rog210

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2004
195
3
Is this the same AT&T that refuses to carrier unlock my iPhone 4 when my contract with them expires?

I'm never using them again and I'll do everything I can to make sure nobody else I know does either. **** 'em.
 

voonyx

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2011
842
0
they are not saying it's a necessity, they are saying it should be an option

I hate wearing one size fits all shirts, you don't?
I do, yes. And no they are not saying its an option. They were saying that without 4G and the "same small screen" iPhone would never sell. clearly they were wrong.
 

canyonblue737

macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2005
1,106
809
I've been with AT&T and iPhones for 4 years. The first couple of years the service grew worse as they struggled under the load but fair is fair, it has gotten much better. I am very satisfied with the service now and the speed of the network in most locations in the country and as an airline pilot I see much of it.

That said I don't know what I am going to do when I upgrade to 2012's iPhone "5/6/whatever" that likely will have LTE. For me the LTE is a major reason to upgrade and Verizon will have nearly 90% nationwide coverage by the end of this year and reviews say it darn fast. AT&T is way behind in their LTE rollout and likely by the end of the year will only be in major metropolitan areas which makes the phone less desirable on AT&T. Hmmmm, I might be switching, but I'll see where things stand when the next iPhone is released.
 

dgree03

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2009
1,177
0
I do, yes. And no they are not saying its an option. They were saying that without 4G and the "same small screen" iPhone would never sell. clearly they were wrong.
Don't be so dense, NEVER sell? Find me a poster that said that and they are truly uninformed! iPhone would sale for 3 years straight without ever having to upgrade anything hardware wise. People want the iPhone, the nerd on this forums(including me) want a 4g phone with a 4in screen. One will come eventually, the other is not guaranteed.

Rest assured tho, if a 4in screen is released, iPhone will still be just as popular as before.
 

linux2mac

macrumors 65816
Aug 29, 2009
1,330
0
"City of Lakes", MN
Yeah, it's a form factor that works for many millions of people. Of course some people would like a bigger screen, or faster speeds but these are not things that determine what people buy, nor does it make an android phone better then an iPhone. The numbers speak for themselves
Uh-Oh, brace yourself, any minute the self-proclaimed Windows/Android experts will be here to clear up any misunderstandings us Apple users have about Apple's success. I am glad these folks are here to help us out. There must be a good explanation of why my iPhone "just works", looks better than the ugly POS Androids out there, is not full of malware, and is by far the best smart phone. :rolleyes:
 

Herrow

macrumors regular
Jul 24, 2008
103
0
Overall, ATT has been a good carrier over the past few years. They aren't GREAT at any one thing, but the cover all there bases and it averages out to a decent user experience.

Plus we are grandfathered with unlimited data, so that ball and chain has us pretty well "Tethered." :)
 

voonyx

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2011
842
0
Don't be so dense, NEVER sell? Find me a poster that said that and they are truly uninformed! iPhone would sale for 3 years straight without ever having to upgrade anything hardware wise. People want the iPhone, the nerd on this forums(including me) want a 4g phone with a 4in screen. One will come eventually, the other is not guaranteed.

Rest assured tho, if a 4in screen is released, iPhone will still be just as popular as before.
I'm sorry you didn't understand my hyperbole. Even if someone did say "never" sell, I wouldn't assume that they meant Apple would report 0 units sold in the quarter. It's a figure of speech, meaning they expected iPhone to not do as well as it usually does. Clear?
 

linux2mac

macrumors 65816
Aug 29, 2009
1,330
0
"City of Lakes", MN
That's power. A single vendor can virtually make or break a carrier.
I know. Makes me laugh when I see comments like this:

Riiiight. Apple made a CDMA phone so it could be on Verizon.

If it came down to scorched earth policy, apple needs the carriers more than the carriers need apple. If the carriers decide one day to stop selling iphone then apple is screwed. Without the carriers cooperation no one will buy an iphone. Verizon would be more than happy selling its own branded droids to everyone.
LOL! Classic example of another "supposed expert" here to clear up any misunderstandings us Apple users have about Apple's success. I have never seen so many "supposed experts" in one place like I do here. :rolleyes: