updated 08:20 am EDT, Thu October 21, 2010
ATT Q3 2010 sees 5.2m iPhone activations
AT&T revealed the extent of Apple's US iPhone sales with an all-time high number of activations. The carrier activated 5.2 million iPhones in the wake of the iPhone 4 launch, or about a 62.5 percent leap over an already record spring. The number was vital to AT&T, which added a total of 2.6 million customers to hit 92.8 million total; it may have lost customers without the iPhone's presence.
The smartphone contributed to many of AT&T's other improvements. iPhones made up the majority of the eight million "integrated devices" that were switched on during the quarter, which also included messaging phones. It helped push the category to become more than half of AT&T's regular subscription base and kept the average revenue per person to $63. Its revenue from data plans, even with the new capped tiers, grew 30.5 percent, while 21.5 percent more users had data plans at all.
Having the iPhone gave the carrier its best-ever churn (customer turnover) rate at 1.32 percent, dipping as low as 1.14 percent for the traditional subscribers that include iPhone owners.
The numbers would have AT&T oust Verizon for the top spot in American carriers based on its CDMA rival's spring numbers, of 92.1 million. The positions are likely to reverse once Verizon reports its own summer figures but puts pressure on the company to do more than depend primarily on its Android sales to add customers. It's increasingly suspected that Verizon is aware of this and will get the iPhone next year, possibly removing one of AT&T's advantages and swinging results back in its favor.