iPhone Drives AT&T's Record-Smashing Quarter for Smartphone Sales with 7.6 Million Activations

AT&T today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2011, revealing that the carrier saw record-smashing sales of 9.4 million smartphones, nearly double the previous quarter's sales and 50% higher than the company's previous record. The iPhone was clearly the primary driver of smartphone sales for AT&T, as the carrier reported 7.6 million iPhone activations during that quarter, with the "majority" of those activations being iPhone 4S devices.

In the fourth quarter, the company set a new record with 9.4 million smartphones sold, nearly double the number sold in the third quarter and 50 percent more than the previous quarterly record. Fourth-quarter smartphone sales represented more than 80 percent of postpaid device sales. Both iPhone and Android device sales set records. During the quarter, more than 7.6 million iPhones were activated, the majority of which were iPhone 4S, which went on sale Oct. 14, and more than twice as many Android smartphones were sold versus the fourth quarter a year ago. iPhone sales were helped by a superior customer experience, with AT&T delivering download speeds up to three-times faster than on other U.S. carriers' networks.

The iPhone and total smartphone numbers can not be directly compared, however, as the "activations" number AT&T reports for iPhones includes used devices activated on new contracts such as when a user's old device is sold or given away upon upgrading.

att 4q11 iphone
AT&T also touts its lead over Verizon in iPhone activations, noting that it has continued to easily outpace Verizon every quarter since AT&T lost exclusivity on the iPhone in early 2011.

att 4q11 smartphones
Finally, AT&T notes that it has continued to improve its voice and data network, with more than 80% of data traffic now coming over the carrier's enhanced backhaul that allows for "4G" speeds on devices supporting at least HSPA+, such as the iPhone 4S. The carrier also reports that "call retainability", an inverse measure of dropped call rates, has continued to increase and was over 99% throughout the quarter for 3G connections on a nationwide basis.

Top Rated Comments

voonyx Avatar
126 months ago
So people don't actually care about 4G and 4" screens? Hmmm, didn't see that coming. :rolleyes:
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
voonyx Avatar
126 months ago
4G or not ... I'm not complaining with 6mb/s!

Still dislike AT&T as a company. Only offer an unlimited texting plan? Wtf? And those data plans..

And I'm actually fine with 3.5" too. iPhone is optimized with it and I never felt that it feels small. I know others feel differently but I'm just stating my opinion.

Yeah, it's a form factor that works for many millions of people. Of course some people would like a bigger screen, or faster speeds but these are not things that determine what people buy, nor does it make an android phone better then an iPhone. The numbers speak for themselves
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
voonyx Avatar
126 months ago
Actually I do and got the 4s since I had no other choice as I wanted an iphone. Don't forget, if you like iOS you have to use whatever Apple doles out, there is no choice.

The point being made is that 4G and 4 inch screens are not a necessity like some androids say it is, nor is it something that obviously will hurt iPhone's sales as androids swore it would.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wordoflife Avatar
126 months ago
So people don't actually care about 4G and 4" screens? Hmmm, didn't see that coming. :rolleyes:
4G or not ... I'm not complaining with 6mb/s!

Still dislike AT&T as a company. Only offer an unlimited texting plan? Wtf? And those data plans..

And I'm actually fine with 3.5" too. iPhone is optimized with it and I never felt that it feels small. I know others feel differently but I'm just stating my opinion.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
basesloaded190 Avatar
126 months ago
I am clearly in the minority, but I have 0 problems with AT&T so I'm glad to see that they are still activating all these phones. Now let's get real 4G rolling out this year!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kalex Avatar
126 months ago
I know. Makes me laugh when I see comments like this:

LOL! Classic example of another "supposed expert" here to clear up any misunderstandings us Apple users have about Apple's success. I have never seen so many "supposed experts" in one place like I do here. :rolleyes:

So far you are behaving like one of those self proclaimed experts that you are writing about.


Uh-Oh, brace yourself, any minute the self-proclaimed Windows/Android experts will be here to clear up any misunderstandings us Apple users have about Apple's success. I am glad these folks are here to help us out. There must be a good explanation of why my iPhone "just works", looks better than the ugly POS Androids out there, is not full of malware, and is by far the best smart phone. :rolleyes:

There u go again with your "expertise"
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

beats updater

Apple Officially Retires Beats Updater Utility in Favor of Over-the-Air Firmware Updates

Wednesday September 30, 2020 2:30 am PDT by
Apple has officially retired Beats Updater, the software utility that lets users update the firmware of their Beats Wireless headphones, earphones, and speakers. Beats Updater allows users to plug their Beats product directly into the USB port of their computer to check for firmware updates online, but with Apple's growing tendency to deliver over-the-air updates to wireless products via iOS ...

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
m1 imac orange

New iMac Tidbits: Headphone Jack on Side, Ethernet Port on Power Adapter, Spatial Audio and WiFi 6 Support, No SD Card Slot

Wednesday April 21, 2021 6:38 am PDT by
Apple yesterday announced a completely redesigned 24-inch iMac with the M1 Apple silicon chip. The new iMac, the first major redesign of the Mac desktop computer since 2012, has several changes compared to the previous generation. In the aftermath of the event, a few new features and tidbits may have slipped under the radar, so we’ve compiled this list of some of the less-talked-about...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
qualcomm snapdragon x60 5g

iPhone 13 Lineup Expected to Use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 Modem With Several 5G Improvements

Wednesday February 24, 2021 8:10 am PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 13 lineup will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 5G modem, with Samsung to handle manufacturing of the chip, according to DigiTimes. Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to the 7nm-based Snapdragon X55 modem used in iPhone 12 models, which could contribute to longer battery life. With the X60 modem, iPhone...