iPhone Still Hot for AT&T, Verizon Looms Large


AT&T has sold a million more iPhones in the first quarter of 2011 (ending March 31) compared to the first quarter of 2010, the company announced today, as part of its first quarter 2011 earnings report. The company pointed out iPhone sales were largely unaffected, even though Apple extended the iPhone platform to Verizon Wireless.

While technically it’s true, there are signs the Verizon iPhone, which went on sale earlier this year, will become a deciding factor as time goes by. During the quarter, 3.6 million iPhones were activated, AT&T said.  When compared to the fourth quarter of 2010,  you can see that the iPhone activations have taken a dip. In the fourth quarter of 2010, ending Dec. 31, AT&T had 4.1 million iPhone activations.

The company said it added 2 million new subscribers during the quarter to take its total to 97.5 million total subscribers. The new subscriber additions are down from 2.8 million additions for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2010.

More than 5.5 million smartphones were sold in the first quarter: the third-highest quarter ever and an increase of more than 60 percent year over year. Nearly 46.2 percent of AT&T’s 68.1 million postpaid subscribers use smartphones, up from 34.7 percent a year earlier. The strong sales at AT&T show that despite competition from a multitude of Android-based phones, iPhone is still going strong.

AT&T said its total wireless (including equipment sales) revenues were $15.3 billion during the quarter, of which $5.1 billion came from data services. However, when you just take wireless services revenues, you see that AT&T’s quarter wasn’t all that hot: $14 billion compared to $13.8 billion it logged during the fourth quarter of 2010.

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