Looks like AT&T had a good final quarter last year. According a press release ahead of their full Q4 2012 financial results (slated for January 24th), AT&T sold a record-breaking 10 million smartphones between October and December, smashing the previous record of 9.4 million set in 2011.
There is a key part missing in these teaser results—a breakdown of Android versus Apple versus Windows. From the press release, all we know is that AT&T sold a lot of the phones and smartphone subscribers are very valuable to AT&T’s revenues:
“We had another incredible quarter of smartphone sales as the mobile Internet continues to drive strong growth in wireless,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer for AT&T Mobility. “These are the industry’s most valuable postpaid subscribers with average revenues twice that of non-smartphone subscribers. During the quarter, we averaged more than 110,000 smartphone sales a day as customers flocked to our leading portfolio of the latest Android, Apple and Windows devices. Combine that with the nation’s largest 4G network and lightning-fast LTE network that now reaches more than 170 million people and you’ll understand why customers continue to choose AT&T in record numbers.”
Right now, that’s all we can take from the press release. Beyond the breakdown of while devices and OSes sold best, I’d like to know a breakdown of when most of the sales came in. My bet is end of November through December as part of holiday shopping. Some have made erroneous conclusions about these being best-ever iPhone sales and others focusing on the (obvious, but not supported) Android and Apple mentions. In truth these might turn out to be true, but we’ll have to wait a couple weeks to learn for sure.
Apple Insider quotes Gene Munster and Venture Beat Kantar Worldpanel estimating that iPhone sales will comprise about 8 million of the 10 million devices based on last year’s Q4 results (which clocked in at about 7.6 million iPhones). Maybe more interesting will be seeing not just the Android (read Samsung) numbers, but Windows phone devices. If Windows phone is going to be one of the saviors of Microsoft, it had better have sold well, since the Surface Tablet isn’t doing so well.
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