AT&T activates 3.7M iPhones, more than 3 out of 4 smartphones sold in Q2

Carrier AT&T just posted its calendar 2012 second quarter earnings, hours ahead of Apple’s conference call after the close of trading today at 2pm Pacific, 5pm Eastern. AT&T activated 3.7 million iPhones, 22 percent to new customers. The figure represents 77 percent of AT&T’s total postpaid device sales and about 55 percent of its total phone sales to contract customers, but also a 14 percent quarter-over-quarter drop in iPhone sales…

This compares to the 3.6 million iPhones AT&T activated in the year-ago quarter and the 4.3 million iPhones in the first quarter representing 78 percent of all smartphones sold.

According to a media release:

AT&T sold 5.1 million smartphones in the second quarter. Smartphones represented 77 percent of postpaid device sales. At the end of the quarter, 61.9 percent, or 43.1 million, of AT&T’s postpaid subscribers had smartphones, up from 49.9 percent, or 34.1 million, a year earlier.

AT&T’s ARPU for smartphones is twice that of non-smartphone subscribers, and about 88 percent of smartphone subscribers are on FamilyTalk or business plans. Churn levels for these subscribers are significantly lower than for other postpaid subscribers. More than one-third of AT&T’s postpaid smartphone customers use a 4G-capable device.

AT&T’s finance chief said that 27 million customers, or two-thirds of smartphone subscribers, are on a tiered data plan, with most opting for pricier plans.

Verizon last week revealed it activated 2.7 million iPhones, representing 45 percent of smartphones the network sold to customers, a 16 percent quarter-over-quarter decline.

Verizon numbers are also down compared to the 4 .3 million iPhones and a 55 percent share recorded during the holiday quarter, a 50 percent share in Q1 2012 when the company activated 3.2 million iPhones and the 2.4 million iPhones activated in Q2 2011.

Swirling rumors of a next-generation iPhone are once again causing sales to dip across carriers as customers put their purchases on hold in anticipation of a hardware refresh.

Apple will webcast today’s earnings which will be available via QuickTime, beginning on July 24 at 2pm Pacific. We’ll be tuning in to the conference call and report back with any important pieces of information.

Wanna play an analyst?

Feel free to predict Apple’s quarterly performance and iPhone, iPad and Mac sales down in the comment.