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Verizon's access to the iPhone 4 isn't stopping AT&T from adding new customers

Analysts were expecting the worse for AT&T this quarter. After all, earlier this year, Verizon got its hands on the iPhone 4 which led many to believe that AT&T's fun in the sun was coming to an end.

AT&T is having the last laugh today, however. The company reported record smartphone sales for the first quarter. The 5.5 million smartphones sold during Q1 represented AT&T's third highest total ever for any quarter and represented a 60 percent growth year-over-year. 

Despite the fact that Verizon now has the iPhone 4, AT&T was still able to activate 3.6 million iPhones during the quarter, with 23 percent of those customers -- 828,000 -- being new customers. 

Other notes of interest regarding AT&T's smartphone sales: 

  • Blackberry, Android, and Windows Phone 7 devices now represent roughly 40 percent of AT&T's smartphone sales.
  • Of AT&T's 68.1 million postpaid customers, 46.2 million of them are on lucrative smartphone plans
  • 80 percent of smartphone customers or on FamilyTalk or business discount plans
  • 65 percent of postpaid sales for the Q1 can be attributed to smartphones

Other areas of AT&T business also saw notable gains with its Branded Computing Subscribers (aircards, MiFi, tethering, tablets) seeing an increase of 421,000 to reach a total of 3.4 million. Of the 421,000 adds, tablets accounted for 322,000. 

“We delivered another robust mobile broadband growth quarter for a very solid start to the year,” said AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson. “We posted double-digit wireless revenue growth, and we set new first-quarter records in total net adds, connected device net adds and smartphone sales. Growth in tablets and other branded computing subscribers also continues to be strong. 

“Mobile broadband networks are driving unprecedented growth and innovation, and AT&T is playing a leading role in bringing these benefits to customers,” Stephenson continued. “That’s why our agreement to acquire T-Mobile USA, which we announced in March, is so important. Combined, the two companies’ spectrum and network assets will allow us to simultaneously address spectrum issues created by this increased demand and improve customers’ network experience as volumes continue to grow.”

AT&T is hoping to get regulatory approval for its purchase of T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom, but competitor Sprint is pushing hard to have the deal rejected.

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Not everyone likes Verizon
By vision33r on 4/20/2011 9:35:07 AM , Rating: 2
If you change phones a lot, going to Sprint or Verizon with their dated CDMA tech is a PITA.

I much prefer swapping out SIM card from phone to phone with ease.

I think the main reason is AT&T got exclusive 3G band on many Android phones like Atrix, Streak, Inspire, and Verizon has a terrible lineup of Blackberries in contrast to AT&T. You can use these on Tmobile but no 3G data speed.

RE: Not everyone likes Verizon
By phantom505 on 4/20/2011 10:49:51 AM , Rating: 2
I like turning on my phone and having the phone book download automatically on that "dated" network without getting dropped calls. Much more convenient than SIM cards that can be damaged or malfunction that will use 1 national network.

RE: Not everyone likes Verizon
By RjBass on 4/20/2011 11:26:52 AM , Rating: 2
Interesting. I am on AT&T and I don't use the sim card to store my contacts. All of my contacts are synced with gmail. Even if I switch from my Android phone to a Backberry or Win Phone 7 I can just download my contact list from gmail and import it into the new phone. I think the only people still using their sim cards to store contacts are those still using non smart phones, in which case it's really no big deal to get the contacts copied to a new sim card. In many cases you can just continue to use your old sim card in your new phone unless it is an iPhone or you are switching from an iPhone to another phone.

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