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AT&T reports record quarter, again driven by iPhone sales in Q3

AT&T reported a huge quarter Thursday morning, once again propelled by the success of Apple’s iPhone. The nation’s second largest wireless carrier activated a record 5.2 million iPhone units during Q3 2010 — a huge leap from its previous record of 3.2 million in a single quarter. 24% of those iPhone activations were new customers.

More highlights from the quarter include:

  • Record 2.6 million net subscriber additions (30% increase year-over-year)
  • 745,000 net postpaid subscriber additions
  • 321,000 net prepaid subscriber additions
  • 92.8 million total wireless subscribers
  • Record-low churn of 1.32% (down 0.10% year-over-year)
  • Consolidated revenue up 2.8% year-over-year to 31.6 billion
  • Operating income was up $100 million year-over-year but operating expenses were up $700 million

The real takeaway from AT&T’s impressive Q3 is unfortunately a negative one, even in the short term: the iPhone makes up a massive amount of AT&T’s business. Should the carrier lose iPhone exclusivity next year, which looks increasingly likely, the results could be disastrous.


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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