updated 10:15 am EST, Wed December 7, 2011
ATT credits iPhone 4S for likely Q4 2011 smash
AT&T CFO John Stephens in a presentation at UBS' yearly Global Media and Communications Conference revealed that the carrier would break a record for its best-ever smartphone sales in a quarter this fall. The provider had already sold six million smartphones in October and November, just 100,000 short of the record. Stephens dropped a hint that the iPhone 4S was primarily responsible, as it had passed one million in five days and that sales "remain strong" into December.
He also confirmed talk of LTE arriving in New York City and expected it to be commercially available before the end of the year. AT&T was still on track for reaching 70 million potential users with its coverage.
The results are likely to mean a record number of iPhone activations on AT&T and could show that Android was still distant on the network. About 40 percent of AT&T's summer smartphones were non-Apple devices, but they primarily took advantage of customers waiting for the iPhone 4S, not increases in demand for alternatives. Even the more than two-year-old iPhone 3GS sees sellouts.
Strong demand at AT&T is likely to be paralleled at Sprint and Verizon, where the iPhone was known to have at least initially overtaken Android devices for the top-selling hardware.