AT&T Activates 4.1 Million iPhones in Q4 as Motorola and Nokia Slump

115823 att motorola nokia

A number of companies either connected to or competing with Apple's iPhone have reported earnings yesterday and today, helping to paint a picture of the current status of the smartphone market.

AT&T, Apple's longtime exclusive iPhone partner in the United States, reported that it had activated 4.1 million iPhones during the fourth quarter of 2010, a figure that has historically included both sales of new devices and re-activations of previously-sold devices either handed down or resold by their owners. The new activations are down from the previous quarter that saw 5.2 million activations on the carrier.

Looking at its broader wireless business, AT&T added 2.8 million wireless subscribers during the quarter to reach a record 95.5 million customers, although only 400,000 of those net additions were of the more profitable postpaid contract variety. A full 61% of the company's 68 million postpaid subscribers are now on "integrated devices" offering virtual or physical QWERTY keyboards, up from 46.8% a year ago.

AT&T also announced that it added a total of 442,000 iPad and Android-based tablets to its network during the quarter, noting that the segment marks a substantial new growth market for the carrier but declining to break out the mix between iPad and Android devices.

Overall, AT&T's earnings were down substantially from the year-ago quarter, although the difference is primarily due to one-time accounting charges for pension and restructuring obligations. But analysts have expressed concern about AT&T going forward, citing lower-than-expected performance in its landline phone business and concerns over the effect of loss of exclusivity for the iPhone.

AT&T's results come as a pair of smartphone manufacturers reported their own earnings, taking the opportunity to express concern over the iPhone's debut on Verizon next month. Motorola Mobility announced results essentially in line with analyst expectations, but offered guidance for the current quarter of a net loss of between 9 and 21 cents, below the break-even expectations of analysts. Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha noted during a conference call discussing the earnings that the carrier has already seen a slowdown in sales as customers wait for the iPhone to come available on Verizon.

"I think that we have seen some slowdown as a result of the announcement at Verizon," CEO Sanjay Jha told analysts on a conference call.

Meanwhile, Nokia posted another earnings drop and acknowledged its continuing losses in smartphone market share that has seen the company's portion of the market sink to 31% from 40% in the year-ago quarter. Looking ahead, Nokia is also guiding toward a weak first quarter of 2011 as the company seeks to develop competitive strategies under new CEO Stephen Elop to both bolster its sagging traditional mobile phone sales and face off against the iPhone and Android devices in the smartphone segment. According to Elop:

"In Q4 we delivered solid performance across all three of our businesses, and generated outstanding cash flow. Additionally, growth trends in the mobile devices market continue to be encouraging. Yet, Nokia faces some significant challenges in our competitiveness and our execution. In short, the industry changed, and now it's time for Nokia to change faster."

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Predicted to Start With Increased 256GB Storage Alongside Rumored Price Increase

Wednesday August 10, 2022 11:14 am PDT by
Earlier today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed iPhone 14 Pro models will be more expensive than iPhone 13 Pro models. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing, but he said that the average selling price of all four iPhone 14 models will increase by about 15% overall. While higher prices would be disappointing for customers, it is possible the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will offer increased...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro: Analyst Believes Storage Will Continue to Start at 128GB Despite Rumored Price Increase

Friday August 12, 2022 7:04 am PDT by
It wouldn't be the month before an iPhone launch without a few back-and-forth rumors, with the latest debate concerning iPhone 14 Pro storage. iPhone 14 Pro render by Ian Zelbo While research firm TrendForce forecasted that iPhone 14 Pro models could start with an increased 256GB of storage, Haitong International analyst Jeff Pu today forecasted that the upcoming Pro models will continue to...