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Summary:

The launch of Apple’s new iPhone 3GS was the best sales day ever for AT&T’s retail stores, while the number of orders taken at its online store also hit an all-time high, according to an internal memo obtained by MacDailyNews, a blog devoted to all things […]

The launch of Apple’s new iPhone 3GS was the best sales day ever for AT&T’s retail stores, while the number of orders taken at its online store also hit an all-time high, according to an internal memo obtained by MacDailyNews, a blog devoted to all things Apple. While the memo doesn’t outline the precise number of devices sold, it does reveal other details.

On this year’s launch day, iPhone sales exceeded sales recorded on 2008′s iPhone launch day, Black Friday 2008 and Dec. 26, 2008 — all heavy-volume sales days. In fact, this year we surpassed 2008′s launch day sales at about noon Central time, and sustained our previous peak hour record, also set in 2008, for 11 straight hours.

Apple sold a million iPhones the weekend of the 3GS launch. A survey by Piper Jaffrey shows that nearly 56 percent of iPhone 3GS buyers were upgrading from the old device and only 28 percent were switching to AT&T — but that’s still about 280,000 new subscribers that will be handing over a lot of money to the carrier. As I pointed out in a previous post, “[T]he average iPhone user gave AT&T about $94.74 a month vs. an average postpaid AT&T customer, who spends about $59.21 a month.”

  1. Adam Jackson Thursday, July 2, 2009

    Unfortunately, AT&T will see a lot of pain 5 years out when iPhone users have other carrier options and their 2-year contracts are up. I hope AT&T is saving their money because I think this gravy train only lasts as long as Apple keeps pouring.

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    1. I’m not so sure I agree with you Adam…

      Sure, the carriers will all have the iphone available eventually except Verizon perhaps, but the real question is going to be whether or not those carriers will make their plans competitive enough to have people switch services AGAIN. I am not going to fuss over a few bucks on my plan, but soon enough if enough apps get to the point where they are supplying push notifications and I can downgrade my text messaging plans I may not see a point in switching providers.

      For the most part I have been happy with ATT service except when I’m on the southern east coast and a few spots here and there in San Francisco. I only feel i’ll switch if someone just offers me some ridiculous offer that i’d be stupid to refuse

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  2. This also indicates that the iPhone market is showing signs of stagnation. Apple is losing first-mover advantage. I bought a G1 from T-Mobile and, frankly, find it superior to the iPhone. More choice = fewer users for Apple.

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  3. I am hoping that AT&T takes this extra revenue and invests in improving their network. It is possible (unlikely, though), that AT&T can improve their network to the point where it becomes an asset rather than a liability (competitively speaking).

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  4. Will AT&T be that stupid to do all the work and then let Apple leaves it grasp. Only time will tell.

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  5. This seems to be natural as the feature set with which the new iPhone 3GS is launched is also amazing.

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  6. Rich I would be interested in knowing why you find the G1 superior to the iPhone. I have an iPhone and a G1 in the family both running on T-Mobile. The iPhone is unlocked. I like the G1, but I find it unrealistic that anybody could find it superior.

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    1. Terrin

      I second that. It is fascinating comment by Rich, because I have been in the same position and find that the Android-based G2 is actually a worthy competitor but there is something about it that makes it not as much fun as iPhone (despite the network>) I can’t put my finger on it … I wish someone, say Rich could outline that for me.

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  7. does AT&T Actually makes any money after heavily subsidized iphone and after sharing revennue with apple ?

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    1. To paraphrase a former VP candidate, you betcha’ they do…

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  8. G1 superior? Nope, not as long as Android is the OS.

    As far as AT&T goes, they’d better save their money, as when people have choices, they will bolt in droves.

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    1. I don’t really think so. People are creatures of habit. Look, Sprint is a good provider overall – they basically have the same coverage as Verizon because Sprint roams on Verizon at no additional charge to the customer. Their plans are much more robust and cheap than Verizon or ATT. They can save you hundreds of dollars a year vs. ATT or Verizon when comparing apples to apples. BUT – Sprint is still losing customers or at least not gaining customers.

      Would a bunch of people buy an iPhone if it was on Verizon? Sure. Would a bunch (20% or more) of ATT’s customers jump ship if the iPhone was elsewhere? Doubt it. The lure of the iPhone has already proved that people don’t really give a shit about the network – they want the freaking iPhone! The 3GS has broken sales records for ATT when we tought otherwise because of the beating ATT has taken on their network in the past year.

      By the time the iPhone exclusivity runs out, ATT’s network will be “up to snuff” and they will mitigate any mass exodus.

      All of this is my opinion as an Sprint customer who just bought an iPhone because ATT’s network DID improve to 850mHz and thus is equal to or better than Sprint or Verizon’s.

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  9. I like their service and all. But they charge you a dollar for simply turning on the phone. Their prices on things that show up on the bill are crazy. I can’t imagine what you pay with that Iphone. I don’t care how cool it is.

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