AT&T describes its third-quarter earnings as “solid,” as the carrier reported $31.5 billion in revenue but that was actually a dip from the same quarter a year ago. Still, the quarter added new subscribers and AT&T can now say that it has over 100 million subscribers.
“Smartphones, connected devices and tablets all posted impressive gains. Our first LTE 4G markets are up and running with terrific speeds. And we continue to work toward a successful completion of our planned T-Mobile USA merger. The next waves in the mobile Internet revolution represent tremendous growth potential, and we are laying the groundwork required for that future,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement.
AT&T added 2.1 million net subscribers to have a total of 100.7 customers in services and this quarter’s boost included increases in all wireless segments. It activated 2.7 million iPhones in the quarter on its way to selling 4.8 million smartphones in the quarter. That iPhone number was down significantly from the same quarter last year but you have to remember that last year’s comparable quarter included an exclusive launch on the iPhone 4. Even with the iPhone 4S now available on Sprint, Verizon and AT&T, I’d expect AT&T to have a banner quarter with iPhone activations, as it will have the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS (free on contract), as well as its holiday smartphone lineup.
Tablets continue to be a strong device area for AT&T, as it added 505,000 “branded computing devices” to reach 4.5 million units. This section includes tablets, aircards, MiFi devices and other data-only devices.