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AT&T expects record smartphone sales in Q4; LTE hits New York this month

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

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, 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 in the US and around the world. 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.

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