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Summary:

Who says consumers aren’t connecting their tablets to mobile networks? AT&T has had two successive quarters of 300,000-plus connected tablet activations.

ATT flagship store logo
photo: AT&T

Common wisdom would suggest that given a choice between a cheaper Wi-Fi-only tablet and a more expensive 3G/4G tablet, consumers would go for the more inexpensive. But AT&T seems to be bucking common wisdom. AT&T announced today that it has added 398,000 tablets to its connected device rolls, accounting for 72 percent of its overall net postpaid subscriber additions in the second quarter.

Ma Bell added 632,000 net mobile connections in total for the quarter ending June 30, of which 551,000 were retail subscribers on contract or postpaid plan. AT&T’s arch-competitor Verizon Wireless is still outperforming it when it comes to overall subscriber growth, announcing 941,000 postpaid net customer additions, but AT&T’s half-a-million subscriber growth is a company record for its second quarter.

In the first quarter, AT&T connected another 365,000 tablets, so the slate is proving to be a sweet growth spot for AT&T as its subscriber base becomes more and more saturated with smartphones. The company sold 6.8 million smartphones in the quarter, but most of them were upgrading from older Android, iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices, resulting in a net gain of 1.2 million smartphones on the network. Smartphones now account for 73 percent of all postpaid connections on its network. AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said AT&T had a record quarter in Android device sales, though he didn’t reveal a figure.

AT&T brought in $32.1 billion in revenues in Q2, up 1.6 percent from a year ago, and recorded profits of $3.8 billion, down slightly from $3.9 billion from the last year’s second quarter.

On the wireline side, AT&T added 641,000 U-Verse internet and 233,000 U-Verse TV subscribers for a total of 9.4 million customers using either one or both of its fiber-to-the-neighborhood service.

  1. Define tablet. Does it include 5″ phablets?

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    1. Kevin Fitchard Wednesday, July 24, 2013

      Hi Mcbeese,

      AT&T didn’t give an exact definition, but I’m positive it’s only counting tablets with data-only radios. Phablets are still phones and would be considered smartphones in AT&T’s calculations. These are devices that are being hooked to a data plan but no voice/SMS plan.

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