AT&T Pre-Announces 'Best-Ever' iPhone Sales in 4Q 2012

attlogo375wideAhead of its official earnings release for the fourth quarter of 2012 later this month, AT&T today announced that it sold over 10 million smartphones during the quarter, including "best-ever" sales of both iPhone and Android devices.

“We had another incredible quarter of smartphone sales as the mobile Internet continues to drive strong growth in wireless,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer for AT&T Mobility. “These are the industry’s most valuable postpaid subscribers with average revenues twice that of non-smartphone subscribers. During the quarter, we averaged more than 110,000 smartphone sales a day as customers flocked to our leading portfolio of the latest Android, Apple and Windows devices.

AT&T's previous best quarter came in the fourth quarter of 2011, when the carrier activated a total of 9.4 million smartphones with 7.6 million of them being iPhones.

Apple is expected to report a strong holiday quarter when it releases its earnings on January 23, buoyed by a full quarter's worth of iPhone 5 sales and fresh updates across much of the rest of its product lineup.

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Top Rated Comments

ozziegn Avatar
150 months ago
9.4 million smartphones with 7.6 million of them being iPhones?

gee, I guess the proof's in the pudding. iPhones still outsell Android garbage by far. (at least with AT&T)
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
150 months ago
9.4 million smartphones with 7.6 million of them being iPhones?

gee, I guess the proof's in the pudding. iPhones still outsell Android garbage by far. (at least with AT&T)

It means that iPhones outsell Android and Windows phones.

There are several Android phones which are not remotely "garbage"

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BTW - the article headline is misleading

We don't know if ATT's iPhone sales for this quarter were best ever for the iPhone - we just know that ATT's smartphone sales were best ever
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kdarling Avatar
150 months ago
Carriers will always find a way for something to be "record sales", whether it's over a weekend, quarter, hour, whatever :)

The main thing to keep in mind, is that while they give total smartphone sales, AT&T never reports the number of iPhone sales... they only report the number of iPhone activations, which results in a more impressive figure.

Activations include hand-me-down and resold iPhones. They also include all the new iPhones, of course, no matter which model (5, 4S, 4) they are.

Often AT&T will add something like "the majority of activations were the new model XX", which could mean anything from 34%-99% of the three models being sold.

--

As for old phones, historically, if the incoming iPhone is a rehash model, the percentage of old device activations is only around 11%, as people don't upgrade as much for incremental changes.

OTOH, if the new iPhone is a very desirable style change or software addition (like Siri), people are quicker to get rid of their old phones, and the fallout used activations can be over 20% of the total on AT&T.

-- For example, when the 4S came out, AllThingsD and CIRP Research found:


* 79% of iphone sales on AT&T were upgrades.
* 49% of those upgrade buyers sold/gave their old phone to someone else.
* 87% of those old phones were likely activated by the new owner.
* ========
* 33% total (87% of 49% of 79%) of sales result in a used activation

So for every three new iPhone 4S sold+activated on ATT, one used iPhone was also activated... or 25% of the total eventual activations. That's an impressive used market, but it also meant some of the headlines about 4S "sales" were way off if they just relied on activation count.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
150 months ago
Seeing that the iPhone just recently surpassed over 50% marketshare in the U.S. for the first time ever and Android continued its slide to 40%, I would find it hard to believe this wouldn't be reflected in AT&T's sales since they sell more iPhones than any other U.S. carrier.

I wouldn't argue that point. That being said - the title of this article and any reference to the fact ATT has stated as such at this point is not accurate.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
150 months ago
Since when is looking for factual information being a Debbie Downer? If no one cares - why associate my desire for the actual fact with being "depressing"

Assumptions can be made in any direction - they are assumptions.

FYI - the past doesn't equal the present and future. Just because historically it's been 80 percent doesn't mean that's a given....

Okay, Debbie Downer, choose to assume the downside. No one really cares if they did or didn't, but why wouldn't anyone just assume they did?

I'm not picking random numbers. The iPhone has always pretty much been 80% of AT&T's smartphone sales. Let's also look at recent reports of Apple pushing past 50% US marketshare and knocking Android down to just over 40%.

You're absolutely right, we won't ACTUALLY know until AT&T releases ACTUAL numbers, but in the meantime, why would you assume otherwise?


Honestly, Samsung NEVER releases ACTUAL numbers and yet no one has a problem believing what all the analysts say with regards to their #1 marketshare.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macboy Pro Avatar
150 months ago
Since AT$T is making money hand over fist with the iPhone, why don't they do something for a change and treat their customers right like giving them the truly unlimited data they are paying for.

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AAPL was up in the pre-market and opened on session highs yet the gains were cut in half as of now, just a little under 45 minutes since the market opened.


Sorry but do they CAP your data? or do they throttle you over a certain amount so that you get what you are paying for with your 2007 unlimited data plan. You are paying for 3G speeds, not LTE. I suggest AT&T let you have 3G unlimited, at the 1mb or less you would have gotten in 2007.

I get 35-40mb/s regularly on AT&T LTE network in Tampa. Should I be allowed unlimited data on the cellular network at that speed. If they did, it would crush the network.

I am flipping sick of clueless people who moan and complain when they can't get stuff for free.

AT&T is clearly investing in faster LTE networks which is not free...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)