AT&T activates record 8.6 million iPhones in Q4 2012

By , Jan 24, 2013

AT&T Flaship Chicago Store

Following up reports from Apple and Verizon, AT&T has just released its earnings results for the 2012 holiday quarter. And they actually look pretty good. The carrier sold a record amount of smartphones during the three quarter period, and activated a record amount of iPhones. Full breakdown of the results after the break…

From AT&T’s press release:

  • Wireless revenues up 5.7 percent versus the year-ago quarter; wireless service revenues up 4.2 percent
  • 780,000 wireless postpaid net adds, largest increase in three years; 1.1 million increase in total net wireless subscribers
  • Record smartphone sales of 10.2 million, the most ever sold by any U.S. carrier; postpaid smartphone customer base now 47.1 million, up 2.5 million from third-quarter 2012
  • Smartphones 89 percent of postpaid phone sales
  • Postpaid wireless subscriber ARPU (average monthly revenues per subscriber) up 1.9 percent to $64.98
  • activated a record 8.6 million iPhones, with 16 percent new to AT&T

The fact that smartphones represented 89% of all of AT&T’s postpaid phone sales is a big deal. That means that only 11% of its postpaid customers bought feature, or non-smart, phones. The 10.2 million smartphone sales figure is also huge, as it shatters the company’s previous record of 9 million, set back during last year’s Q4.

Of course, the number we’re most interested is iPhone sales. AT&T activated 8.6 million of them, which accounted for a staggering 84% of its total smartphone mix. That means that out of the 10.2 million smartphones it sold, only 1.6 million of them were from “other” platforms including Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry.

But there were some asterisks to the carrier’s fourth quarter. For example, despite its $17.6 billion in wireless revenues, it still managed to lose $3.9 billion. The carrier noted that the loss was due to a restructuring of its pension plans, and the higher number of subsidies it had to pay out for all of the smartphones it sold in the quarter.

Over all of 2012, though, AT&T reported $127.4 billion in revenue and $7.3 billion in profit. Not bad. The carrier says it plans to reinvest that money in new spectrum and other facets to boost its network. Earlier this week, it announced a new deal to acquire the remnants of Alltel, which includes spectrum, license and other assets.

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  • CollegiateLad

    10.2 million smart phones… 8.6 million are iPhones?

    Holy cow!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

    So let me get this straight.

    1) Apple just finished the year with more profits than have been made by any company in the history of the world.

    2) It added $13.1 billion to cash reserves, bringing its total to $137 billion.

    3) It had massive increases in iPhone and iPad sales year-over-year, including 10.8 million (29%) more iPhones than the same quarter last year and 7.5 million (49%) more iPads.

    4) With the exception of Samsung, all its competitors in smartphones are barely breaking even or are losing money. It still wins about two-thirds of all profits in the smartphone market segment.

    5) It makes more profit selling traditional computers than either HP or Dell.

    6) It has a price to earnings ratio of 11.7. This compares to 358.5 for Netflix, 3,583 for Amazon, 22.8 for Google, 286.5 for Facebook, and 14.9 for Microsoft. The annual profit of these five other companies combined is about two-thirds of Apple’s profit.

    So, the market responds by dropping Apple’s market capitalization by $50 billion, roughly the value of Nokia, RIM and Sprint combined.

    • CollegiateLad

      Stupid, isn’t it?

    • disqus_h92

      I don’t get it either. Hope Tim Cook doesn’t end up getting fired.

  • http://twitter.com/unbeliever008 Jae. Just J.

    AT&T exclusivity is paying dividends now with upgrades from 4 to 5. Their net subscriber gain margin is not exactly lighting it up no matter what they say.