AT&T posted its first-quarter earnings this morning, and the U.S. carrier saw a 33% increase in iPhone activations during the first quarter of 2011. A grand total of 3.6 million iPhones were activated on AT&T, helping to give the carrier a 10.2% overall increase in wireless revenue.

Since the iPhone was made available on Verizon, a drop in iPhone sales on AT&T has been expected. Instead, AT&T announced that this past quarter was its best first-quarter earnings ever. Looks like the Verizon iPhone isn’t really enticing customers away from AT&T…

A few points from AT&T’s press release,

  • Best-ever first-quarter smartphone sales of more than 5.5 million
  • iPhone activations increased nearly 1 million year over year to 3.6 million, with 23 percent of subscribers new to AT&T; iPhone subscriber churn unchanged year over year

Smartphone Sales Remain Strong. AT&T had another strong quarter of smartphone sales. 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. During the quarter, 3.6 million iPhones were activated. Approximately 65 percent of postpaid sales were smartphones.

It’s interesting to see how well AT&T is doing in iPhone sales against Verizon. 23% of iPhone sales this past quarter were from new AT&T customers. The thought was that many people would jump ship and move to Verizon when the iPhone was made available, but it appears that most people are happy with the service AT&T provides.

Although Verizon’s iPhone sales have not been released, the numbers are supposed to be lower than expected.

Why do you think AT&T is doing so well in iPhone sales? Did you recently switch to AT&T or renew your contract? Will you be leaving AT&T for Verizon?


  • I think these numbers will be more interesting to look at next year, when both AT&T and Verizon get the iPhone 5 at the same time. It will really show if hardcore AT&T customers will stay on board, while they could go to Verizon for the new device. Let’s check back next year 😉

    • William

      I think there’re 3 types of people who’ll stay w/ AT&T this years or the next.
      1. people who live in area w/ relatively reliable AT&T coverage.
      2. people who needs to access internet during the phone call (myself included)
      3. people who needs an unlocked GSM phone for international travel.

    • Jon Garrett

      by this time next year., AT&T will have a shit load of former t-mobile customers. so yeah, I expect their sales to go ballistic.

  • Jay R

    Similar to what Sebastien said, it will be interesting to see what the hardcore iPhone customers will do! Choose to follow the phone or the plan; pay full price if under a long term contract, cancel and pick up the 5 on Verizon, wait it out, etc. It’s going to be a fun year 🙂

  • Simply, GSM vs CDMA. That is all. Who wants new gadgets with technology that is not supported worldwide. Anyone who travels and jailbreaks their phone, will want GSM not CDMA.

    Any one who travels reasonably frequently outside of the US has long abandoned Verizon for that reason, among others.