AT&T's profits are down, but the carrier is still smiling

There's good news and bad news in AT&T's third quarter report. The carrier's profit dropped to $3.6 billion for the quarter -- that's down from $12.32 billion from this time last year. That drop could be due in part to the loss of iPhone exclusivity (a matter recently compounded with the addition of Sprint as a carrier for the 4S) and the fact that the company pulled in profits from the sale of assets in 2010. AT&T activated 2.7 million iPhones during Q3, a marked drop over previous quarters. (Though, admittedly, last Q3 saw the launch of the iPhone 4 -- this Q3 saw people waiting for an iPhone 5.). On the up side of things, the sale of Android devices has more than doubled, year over year. AT&T added 2.1 million wireless subscribers, passing 100 million, which the carrier seems quite pleased with, as evidenced by the exceedingly chipper video below.

Update: AT&T dropped us a line to point out that the gains from a one-time tax settlement also significantly contributed to the company's 2010 profit and by extension the drop in profits year-over-year. According to an AT&T spokesperson, "If you take those one-time items out of the mix, profit was actually up 13-percent year-over-year. In addition, wireless margins were up significantly, which means wireless profits increased."

Update 2: AT&T also announced this morning that it had activated one million units of the iPhone 4S as of Tuesday. Press release is included underneath the video below.

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AT&T Activates One Million iPhone 4S'

Activations Surpass All Previous Launches; Customers Prefer AT&T Speed Advantage

Dallas, Texas, October 20, 2011 - AT&T today announced it activated more than 1 million iPhone 4S’ as of Tuesday, making it the most successful iPhone launch in the company’s history. AT&T was the first carrier in the world to launch iPhone in 2007 and is the only U.S. carrier to support iPhone 4S with 4G speeds.

“It’s no surprise that customers are clamoring for iPhone 4S and they want it to run on a network that lets them download twice as fast as competitors’,” said Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO, AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets.

AT&T’s speed advantage, and the unique ability to talk and surf at the same time, has been roundly praised by industry pundits.

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