Home AT&T Releases Strong Numbers from Its Last Quarter of iPhone Exclusivity

AT&T Releases Strong Numbers from Its Last Quarter of iPhone Exclusivity

Telecommunications giant AT&T has released its numbers from the fourth quarter of 2010, and the report is good. The company boasts revenue of $31.4 billion, up 2.1% from the fourth quarter of 2009.

Underlying some of this growth was an increase in wireless revenue for the company – a 9.9% growth. This was also the first quarter where wireless revenue outpaced wireline revenue. But the growth rate for new customers was the lowest in five years.

AT&T said that it activated 4.1 million iPhones during the quarter, helping bring the company’s wireless subscribers up to 95.5 million total. The number of iPhones is down from the third quarter – AT&T’s best quarter ever for iPhone activations – but this was the second best quarter ever. And those 2.8 million new subscribers, says AT&T, made this its best quarter ever in terms of new subscribers.

The company also said it had activated 442,000 tablets in Q4. AT&T calls the increase in tablets a “a new growth area for the company”.

That “new growth area” may deflect from what will be AT&T’s last quarter as the exclusive carrier of the iPhone, as today’s figures come on the heels of the (long-awaited) announcement that its rival Verizon would start selling the iPhone – something starting February 3. AT&T noted that the fourth quarter was good for “churn” – subscribers switching carriers – but that number will undoubtedly change when the company reports on figures from the first quarter of this year. Nonetheless, these are strong figures from AT&T, as the company readies to do battle with Verizon over what is clearly the future – wireless subscriptions.

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