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AT&T activates 2.7 million iPhones in early 2010

updated 08:40 am EDT, Wed April 21, 2010

ATT has record 1st quarter due to iPhone

AT&T on Wednesday reported its best-ever first quarter, owed in large part to the iPhone. The cell carrier activated 2.7 million iPhones in early 2010, or 1.1 million more than it did a year ago. It would potentially have lost customers otherwise, as it added a net 1.9 million subscribers that in itself was a record for AT&T and gave it 87 million total cellphone customers.

A net 3.3 million advanced, or "3G integrated," devices joined the network, AT&T said. This included not just smartphones but also 3G-aware devices like the Barnes & Noble Nook and netbooks.

The handset had a similar effect on increasing AT&T's revenues and keeping customers. Churn, or customer turnover, reached an all-time low of 1.07 percent; wireless data revenue also shot up 29.8 percent to $4.1 billion, and 28 percent more customers were using subscription data plans. The average revenue per person also climbed slightly to $61.89 and was helped by a boost to the average revenue from data.

Overall revenue gains were actually slight at just 0.3 percent, reaching $30.6 billion; its profit was relatively small at $2.5 billion but would have been higher if not for a one-time $995 million Medicare charge.

The iPhone activations, while an achievement for AT&T, point to Apple being less and less dependent on the American carrier for its sales; the number was down from the fall despite an increase in worldwide shipments. The addition of new countries like Korea and the addition of multiple carriers to existing countries, such as the UK, has helped drive foreign sales.

Apple has continued to express satisfaction with AT&T's progress in upgrading its network to prevent customers from leaving over 3G congestion problems, but it has increasingly pointed out that ending exclusivity and expanding to other carriers has usually resulted in an uptick of iPhone sales in a given area. One major, if still unconfirmed, rumor has Apple making a Verizon-capable iPhone for the fall.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    customers

    The cell carrier activated 2.7 million iPhones in early 2010, or 1.1 million more than it did a year ago. It would potentially have lost customers otherwise, as it added a net 1.9 million subscribers that in itself was a record for AT&T and gave it 87 million total cellphone customers.

    You're comparing two different numbers, reading/implying that, without the iPhone, they would have lost 800,000 customers.

    Activating a phone is not necessarily a new customer. Of the 2.7 million, then, the question ATT cares about is "How many are new customers, and how many are just existing ATT customers upgrading to an iPhone?". It's like assuming that 2.7 million iPhones means 2.7 million new iPhone users, when any number of those could be just upgraders from previous models.

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003

    0

    Re: customers

    Many people i know are splitting off from family plans from their parents to get their own family accounts with iPhones, and a few people i know just switched from vz, tmob etc to get iPhone. My sister just left our parent's family plan & got a family plan for her & her boyfriend.

    True, some people are switching to iPhone all ready on att, but that is by no means the majority of people this quarter.

    - A

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