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Summary:

AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega predicts a record smartphone sales quarter over the holidays, beating even last year’s 9.4 million device sales. The conditions that made last year’s Q4 a success are in place, including the timely fall release of the iPhone.

Apple Event 10/4 AT&T Wireless CEO Ralph de la Vega

AT&T has already sold 6.4 million smartphones in October and in November, which would make the fourth quarter its second best performing quarter ever even if failed to set sell a single smartphone in December, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said at a UBS conference Tuesday morning. De la Vega’s comments, which were reported by FierceWireless, indicate that AT&T is on pace to have the best smartphone quarter in its history this holiday season.

Last year’s fourth quarter is the current record holder at AT&T. Then Ma Bell activated 9.4 million devices. All of the same factors that drove such huge sales last year are again in place. Most notably Apple kept with its adjusted iPhone launch schedule, which with the iPhone 4S was moved from the early summer to fall. That means AT&T will reap the benefits of a new iPhone release and the traditional Christmas sales boom both in the same three-month period.

There may be incentives for consumers to invest even more heavily in the iPhone this year as opposed to last. The new iPhone 5 not only has a new design and new iOS 6 features, but it is the first Apple smartphone with LTE capabilities. AT&T could also an uptick across its LTE device portfolio due to the huge expansion of its network. At the end of 2011 AT&T had a meager 15-city footprint, but today it offers its new 4G service in 109 markets covering 150 million people.

  1. Lawrence Garvin Thursday, December 6, 2012

    Does a copy editor look at this stuff before it’s posted?

    “AT&T has already sold 6.4 million smartphones in October in November, which would make the fourth quarter its second best performing quarter ever even if failed to set a single smartphone in December,”

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    1. Thanks for catching Lawrence. Corrected

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  2. Everyone is always busting AT&T’s chops, but it’s doing pretty well rolling out the 4G LTE or whatever it “really” is. It’s even faster than some phones are adding it to their capabilities (hear that, Nexus?). As a real estate agent in Dallas, I can’t imagine trying to send large property photos or blueprints or site maps over anything slower.

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