AT&T reported some 1 million iPhone 4S activations, although its revenues for the previous quarter also dipped slightly year-over-year.
AT&T now has more than 100 million subscribers, although
its revenues for the third quarter of 2011 declined slightly.
The carrier gained an additional 2.1 million subscribers in
order to pass that 100-million-mark, attributing the increase in part to
smartphone subscribers. Sales of non-iPhone smartphones also increased, with
the company selling 4.8 million units in that category during the quarter.
During the quarter, AT&T activated some 2.7 million
iPhones, and sales of Android devices doubled from the year-ago quarter. The company announced its quarterly earrings Oct. 20.
Overall, AT&T reported consolidated revenues of $31.5
billion, down 0.3 percent from the same quarter a year earlier. Its net income
hit $3.6 billion, a substantial decrease from $12.3 billion during the same
quarter in 2010, when the carrier enjoyed one-time gains from the sale of
Sterling Commerce along with a tax settlement; excluding those events, though,
income actually rose from 54 cents a share in 2010 to 61 cents a share in the
AT&T also reported that it had activated more than 1
million iPhone 4S units by Oct. 18. In a statement published on its Website
the carrier claimed that number made the current iPhone launch "the most
successful" in the company's history.
However, the quarter ended Sept. 30, meaning AT&T's
bottom line didn't benefit from the iPhone 4S, which Apple launched Oct. 14.
The device apparently sold some 4 million units by the end of its first weekend
in release, including pre-orders, and its performance through the end of 2011
could have a significant effect on AT&T revenues and profits.
The iPhone 4S is also expected to improve the balance sheets
for Apple, whose most recent quarter was judged disappointing by analysts who
expected higher iPhone sales.
"While iPhone sales slowed during the September quarter due
to the timing of the iPhone 4S launch, we anticipate iPhone sales could rebound
to over 27 [million] units during the December quarter," Canaccord Genuity
analyst Michael Walkley wrote in an Oct. 19 research note. "We believe the
iPhone will grow faster than the smartphone market during the December
International distribution will play a part in Apple's
overall sales numbers for the coming quarter. "We believe iPhone sales will
continue to ramp internationally with China, Russia and Brazil," he added. "In
fact, Asia-Pacific region sales increased by over 100 percent [year-over-year],
and we believe solid sales of the iPhone in this region (especially China) will
continue to ramp."
AT&T was originally the sole carrier of the iPhone in
the United States, but now must compete on that front against Sprint and
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