AT&T on Wednesday announced that it expects to sell a record number of smartphones in the fourth quarter. Speaking at the UBS Media & Communications Conference in New York City, AT&T chief financial officer John Stephens told conference attendees that AT&T sold approximately 6 million smartphones in the first two months of the December quarter alone. The carrier’s previous single-quarter smartphone sales record was 6.1 million units. AT&T announced in October that it activated more than one million iPhone 4S handsets during the smartphone’s first week of availability, and the new iPhone model is still AT&T’s top-selling smartphone according to recent checks performed by Canaccord Genuity. With the addition of multiple popular Android smartphones and strong iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS sales, AT&T is extremely well positioned in the holiday quarter. Stephens also noted that AT&T’s 4G LTE service will launch in additional markets this month, including New York City. AT&T expects to cover more than 70 million people with its LTE service by the end of the year. AT&T’s press release follows below.

AT&T Expects Record Smartphone Sales in 4Q

UBS Media & Communications Conference 2011

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–John Stephens, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, today announced that AT&T* is on track to break its single-quarter record for smartphone sales.

Speaking at the UBS 39th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, Stephens said that AT&T sold about 6 million smartphones in the first two months of the fourth quarter. Because December is traditionally one of the strongest sales months, AT&T now expects to break the previous single-quarter smartphone record of 6.1 million.

AT&T’s strong smartphone sales in part reflect a higher number of handset upgrades from customers who were waiting for the launch of a new iPhone. AT&T previously announced that it activated more than 1 million iPhone 4S’ in the first five days the device was available. AT&T said iPhone 4S sales remain strong. Only on AT&T’s network can iPhone 4S users download three times faster and talk and surf at the same time.

Stephens also said today that AT&T will turn up additional 4G LTE markets, including New York City, this month, and expects to cover 70 million people with its LTE network by year-end 2011, consistent with its previously announced plans.

The webcast of Stephens’ presentation will be available for replay on the AT&T Investor Relations website until Dec. 30, 2011.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than a decade, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.