AT&T Reports 3.1 Million iPhone Activations in 4Q 2009

AT&T today released its earnings report for the fourth quarter of 2009, revealing that the company activated 3.1 million iPhones on its network during the quarter, just shy of the record 3.2 million iPhone activated in the previous quarter. The iPhone continues to be a major contributor to AT&T's "integrated devices" segment of smartphones, which have grown to 46.4% of the company's postpaid subscriber base and who continue to generate 1.8 times the average monthly revenues of traditional phone users.

Overall, AT&T experienced a net gain of 2.7 million wireless subscribers for the quarter, the company's second highest net gain in history. Over 4 million postpaid integrated devices were added to the company's base during the quarter, and while the activation of 3.1 million iPhones might suggest that Apple was responsible for approximately 75% of the total smartphone additions, the company has in the past noted that not all iPhone activations represent new devices sold. AT&T's "activations" term includes existing handsets transferred to new owners, making comparisons between new activations and device additions invalid.

Not addressed in AT&T's earnings release is Apple's new iPad tablet device. Apple and AT&T have partnered on the 3G-capable versions of the iPad in the U.S., with AT&T offering no-contract data plans for the device at $14.99 (250 MB) and $29.99 (unlimited) monthly price points. The 3G-capable iPad models are not expected to begin shipping for another 90 days.

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