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AT&T loving the iPhone

Mel Martin

AT&T has released fourth quarter and 2008 results and it's not all roses for the telecommunications giant. Wireline telephone subscribers were down significantly, and AT&T has spent a bundle (US $453 million) upgrading the 3G network to serve the iPhone and their other Smartphone offerings. The bright spot for AT&T is the iPhone itself, which contributed to very positive gains in subscribers and revenue. Even with the boost from our favorite phone, AT&T profits fell to 64 cents a share in the fourth quarter compared to 71 cents one year ago.

Here are the interesting iPhone stats:

  • AT&T activated 4.3 million iPhone 3Gs since it came on the market including 1.9 million in the fourth quarter alone. Those activations are more than double the number from a year before with the 2G iPhone
  • iPhone owners provide about 60% higher revenue than other AT&T customers
  • About 40% of fourth quarter activations of iPhones were customers that were new to AT&T. Most came from other carriers like Sprint, Verizon, etc.
  • Customers who drop AT&T aren't usually those with iPhones (although many iPhone users would like to because of bad coverage or service).
For just about anyone selling anything, the fourth quarter of last year was dreadful. The iPhone was not exempt from this trend. Activations were down 21% comparing the fourth quarter to the third quarter of 2008, but the iPhone still clobbered the Blackberry Storm.

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