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

Ahead 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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Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

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54 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)
Rating: 7 Votes
54 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"


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
Rating: 4 Votes
54 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.


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...
Rating: 3 Votes
54 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.

Rating: 3 Votes
54 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.
Rating: 3 Votes
54 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.
Rating: 3 Votes
54 months ago

I read it as:
We have record smart phone sales. Included in that record is individual sales records for both Android, and Apple devices.

I think you can admit that it would be very odd of them to say that they had record smartphone sales and even if you remove all the other smartphone phone OS's (windows and...?) leaving just ios and android it's still a record!

For one it would be a pointless metric to track

I read it as combined - we've had the best smart phone sales this quarter.

The headline of this article states that ATT has best ever iPhone sales in 4Q. Sorry - but while it might ultimately true - there's no way to cull that from ATT's press release as fact.
Rating: 2 Votes
54 months ago

some of the people here are so funny

ever since the iphones inception it has been a disgustingly overwhelming majority of sales at AT&T, but this will be the quarter where making that extrapolation based on ATTs press release would be wrong :rolleyes:

OF COURSE, the iPhone is going to sell close to 8 million at AT&T this quarter. Anyone who's trying to devil's advocate around that is just being silly.

I (and I don't think anyone is arguing) that the iPhone is going to make up the majority of sales. That's not the issue. Do I need to instruct you to read the headline of the article. That's what is what I (personally) object to - because there's no evidence whatsoever that it's true based on the information MR is citing.
Rating: 2 Votes
54 months ago

The press release is ambiguous at best. You can't draw either conclusion from it, so you're doing the same thing you're asking others not too. You're concluding that it doesn't say best iPhone sales ever when it very well could be.

I'm pretty certain MRs interpretation is the right one.[COLOR="#808080"]

You're still missing the point. MR isn't stating their opinion. The headline states a fact. A fact that has nothing to support it but interpretation. AT&T did not PRE-ANNOUNCE that statement.

I am not going to respond to you anymore because you simply don't get it. You keep wanting to make this about opinion. It's not. ATT never made the statement MR is claiming they did. Period.
Rating: 2 Votes
54 months ago

Funny how we keep hearing about all these great sales numbers from Android dreck, but the carriers never have the numbers to support phone maker lies.

Funny how this isn't about WORLD sales - but just USA.

So let's wager! You seem strong in your convictions, shall we have a friendly bet that that's exactly what's going to happen? I'll PayPal you when you win.

You do agree it's a virtual certainty that Apple will get extremely close to the record if not break it right?

I can't believe I am typing this again.

Read the headline of this "article"
AT&T Pre-Announced 'Best-Ever' iPhone Sales in 4Q 2012

Read the press release.

AT&T did no such thing. Regardless of whether it's going to be true or not. That's not what the press release states. It's not semantics. It's factually incorrect.

An accurate headline would be "AT&T's Has Best Ever Smart Phone Sales in 4Q 2012" or "Will 4Q be AT&T's Best Ever iPhone Sales" or "AT&T Likely to have Best-Ever iPhone Sales in 4Q based on Recent Pre-Announcement"

Or something like that.

I am not arguing what the numbers are. I don't care. What I am arguing is that the headline is - for lack of better word - digenuous. It's a poor headline. It's MR opinion - not fact.
Rating: 2 Votes

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