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iPhone helps AT&T gain 2m subscribers

updated 11:10 am EDT, Tue October 23, 2007

ATT Helped by iPhone

AT&T saw its largest number of new cellular subscribers during a summer quarter, the company announced today as part of its latest quarterly report. The telecom firm's wireless division reported an effective gain of about two million new subscribers in the quarter following the iPhone's release in late June, a 46.8 percent increase over the same period a year ago and an all-time record for the season for the carrier, which was already considered the largest in the US. Customer "churn," or the turnover of subscribers, was also lower for the period at just 1.7 percent of the total user base, AT&T said.

The third calendar quarter similarly reflected more modest but higher overall improvements for AT&T, which saw an improved rate of revenue growth as well as an increased income profit margins and average revenue per user, which is usually determined by the subscription fees and purchases such as ringtones or online music.

Although the company did not break down new subscriptions by the phones attached to the new services, a significant number of the added subscribers are widely believed to be converts from rival services who jumped to AT&T to obtain the iPhone. The Apple handset is an AT&T multi-year exclusive and is also technically incompatible with Sprint, Verizon, and similar carriers that use the CDMA protocol.

Apple itself claims to have shipped about 1.4 million iPhones since launch, most of which have reportedly gone to existing AT&T customers.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. ZinkDifferent

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005


    Let's see...

    2 million added subscribers, that translates directly to a loss of 2 million customers to Sprint and T-Mobile, and a lesser degree, Verizon (for some odd reason, Verizon customers enjoy being treated like c*** by Verizon).

    I guess all that posturing about the iPhone being 'no threat at all' is starting to look pretty silly in light of recent results. Let's also not forget that this is at least 1.4 million customers who left existing mobile phone brands (a growing number, that is soon to be joined by European users).

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005


    iPhone Halo

    If anyone stopped to think for a moment at these numbers, and compare them to Apple's numbers, they'd realise that AT&T is actually seeing iPhone's halo effect. Apple only sold 1.2 million iPhones (of which they estimate almost 250,000 were unlocked, most of them probably never registered with AT&T). Therefore, AT&T's growth of 2 million represents both iPhones, as well as other devices.


  1. chaaalie

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2002



    I'm guessing that a significant number of the AT&T halos were from people who had spouses or children that "followed" them when they moved to AT&T ... but didn't necessarily get an iPhone.

    Just my 2 cents.

  1. pt123

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007



    So why the heck isn't Verizon stock taking a hit?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: let's see

    2 million added subscribers, that translates directly to a loss of 2 million customers to Sprint and T-Mobile, and a lesser degree, Verizon (for some odd reason, Verizon customers enjoy being treated like c*** by Verizon).

    Sorry, but the logic is flawed, as it makes the assumption that everyone who has a phone now already had a cell phone and a plan with a different company. Where's that coming from? And you're not taking into account people adding a second phone (say a home phone to go along with a work blackberry). Keep in mind, also, that iPhones can't use a current AT&T business plan, as many business customers were pissed they had to sign up for another plan altogether.

    And being a Verizon customer, I can't say I've ever been treated like c***. Then again, I bought a $50 phone and a $40 plan, so its not like I'm trying to do anything with the service, anyway.

  1. slider

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Hey, That's Great!

    Now expand your damn network so I can get my iPhone.

    As a Verizon customer I can say they do indeed suck, but they have the most extensive network in my area, so, in this case, "it's the network". There is no AT&T where I live and work, so.... Problem I have with verizon is crippling my phone and all the BS the try to pull to (phone crippling being one of them) to force you to use up your minutes.

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