AT&T activates 4.8M iPhones in March quarter, trails Verizon in customers added

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple's iPhone remained a hot seller on the United States' second-largest carrier, but the last quarter saw AT&T slipping further behind Verizon in terms of growth and sales.

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Reporting its earnings on Tuesday, AT&T revealed that it had activated 4.8 million iPhones in the quarter, with Apple's handset accounting for 80 percent of AT&T's 6 million total smartphones. AT&T, the original exclusive home of the iPhone in the U.S., sold more Apple phones than did rival Verizon in the quarter, but Verizon moved more overall smartphones with 7.2 million units activated.

That lag persisted across other metrics between the two carriers, as AT&T added only 296,000 new contract subscribers while Verizon added 677,000. AT&T's figure includes 365,000 customers activating tablets, and the 296,000 figure actually conceals the fact that the carrier lost 69,000 phone customers in the quarter.

AT&T's 4.8 million iPhones sold is a sharp but expected drop from the holiday quarter, which saw the carrier activating a record eight million iPhones. It is up, though, from the quarter prior to that, which saw AT&T selling 4.7 million iPhones in the wake of the iPhone 5's launch.

Also this week, Sprint reported its own results for the March quarter, revealing that it sold 1.5 million iPhones in the three-month span. While AT&T and Verizon are adding subscribers, Sprint saw a net loss, with 560,000 customers leaving the nation's third-largest wireless provider.

In all, Sprint, Verizon and AT&T accounted for a total of 10.3 million iPhones in the March quarter. That's more than a quarter of all iPhones sold by Apple during that period, as the company revealed on Tuesday it sold a record 35.1 million handsets during the same period.

During the quarter, Apple's iPhone grew at a slower rate year over year than the smartphone market as a whole, which saw 30 percent growth. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook admitted on Tuesday that he'd like to see his company do better.

"We do want to grow faster," Cook said. "We don't however, view it as the only measure of our health."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    zompzomp Posts: 48member
    For what my opinion is worth - I'm waiting for the new phone and moving from At&T to t-mobile. like many - I was waiting for T-mobile's announcement and now the new phone.
  • Reply 2 of 25
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    Verizon made a smart choice when they invested in LTE early on. Their 3G speeds are slow compared to 3G from AT&T.
  • Reply 3 of 25
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    The drop in growth number is misleading. The iPhone 4S was the first phone to be released in the fourth quarter. The iPhone 5 was the second. Since phones prior to 4s would have provided a spike in growth in other quarters.
  • Reply 4 of 25
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,615member
    The figure I'm interested in is the 80% iPhone activation. Makes one wonder what all the "Android is winning" nonsense is about.
  • Reply 5 of 25
    There is another way to look at the numbers.
    AT&T iPhone growth y/y 12%, non-iPhone growth - 0
    Verizon iPhone growth y/y 25%, non-iPhone growth - 3%
    Sprint iPhone growth y/y 0, non-iPhone growth minus 3% (estimated).
  • Reply 6 of 25
    brianloftus 2013/04/24 02:47pm

    There is another way to look at the numbers.
    AT&T iPhone growth y/y 12%, non-iPhone growth - 0
    Verizon iPhone growth y/y 25%, non-iPhone growth - 3%
    Sprint iPhone growth y/y 0, non-iPhone growth minus 3% (estimated).



    So the 30% industry growth is from mostly international growth. Sounds like opportunity to me more than anything for aapl.
  • Reply 7 of 25

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Applehawk View Post



    brianloftus 2013/04/24 02:47pm



    There is another way to look at the numbers.

    AT&T iPhone growth y/y 12%, non-iPhone growth - 0

    Verizon iPhone growth y/y 25%, non-iPhone growth - 3%

    Sprint iPhone growth y/y 0, non-iPhone growth minus 3% (estimated).







    So the 30% industry growth is from mostly international growth. Sounds like opportunity to me more than anything for aapl.


    Exactly, and this is why investors are pushing Apple to release a lower-cost iPhone(would dilute margins but increase revenue).  Many international carriers don't subsidize handset purchases, and there is a smaller percentage of customers in developing countries willing and able to pay a premium price for an iPhone. 

  • Reply 8 of 25
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    lkrupp wrote: »
    The figure I'm interested in is the 80% iPhone activation. Makes one wonder what all the "Android is winning" nonsense is about.

    How about the only 30% on Sprint?
  • Reply 9 of 25
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    nasserae wrote: »
    Verizon made a smart choice when they invested in LTE early on. Their 3G speeds are slow compared to 3G from AT&T.

    Seems like VZW is the only one that actually gained subscribers.
  • Reply 10 of 25
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post



    The figure I'm interested in is the 80% iPhone activation. Makes one wonder what all the "Android is winning" nonsense is about.


    sprint and t-mo were 100% android until recently


     


    and most of the world you have to buy your phone outright, that's where android wins, at the $300 price level

  • Reply 11 of 25
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

    sprint and t-mo were 100% android until recently


     


    2011 is recently?



    Oh, I guess so, given the whole 'two year contract' thing.

  • Reply 12 of 25
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    al_bundy wrote: »
    sprint and t-mo were 100% android until recently

    and most of the world you have to buy your phone outright, that's where android wins, at the $300 price level

    Not 100% but pretty damn close.
  • Reply 13 of 25
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member


    Verizon is getting a bit too big for their britches. First they lowered data allowances and raised prices while pretending family data share was a bargain, didn't allow old unlimited plans to grandfather in unless you pay full price for your phone with no subsidies, and recently moved updates from 20 month to 24 months. They can afford to be arrogant for the time being since they have the widest coverage and largest LTE map by far. I doubt any other network will ever match Verizon in total square mile coverage, but the other networks will still be able to cover where around 90% or more of the actual population lives with LTE by the end of this year or certainly by next year. People out in the boonies might still only have a choice of Verizon or nothing but the vast majority of people will be able to have a choice between several carriers that offer fast and good coverage for their needs. 


     


    Some families are spending nearly as much on their cell phone bills as they are on car or house payments. Something will eventually have to give and I just can't see how these carriers can continue to charge such exorbitant monthly prices and gain subscribers. 

  • Reply 14 of 25
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    gwmac wrote: »
    Verizon is getting a bit too big for their britches. First they lowered data allowances and raised prices while pretending family data share was a bargain, didn't allow old unlimited plans to grandfather in unless you pay full price for your phone with no subsidies, and recently moved updates from 20 month to 24 months. They can afford to be arrogant for the time being since they have the widest coverage and largest LTE map by far. I doubt any other network will ever match Verizon in total square mile coverage, but the other networks will still be able to cover where around 90% or more of the actual population lives with LTE by the end of this year or certainly by next year. People out in the boonies might still only have a choice of Verizon or nothing but the vast majority of people will be able to have a choice between several carriers that offer fast and good coverage for their needs. 

    Some families are spending nearly as much on their cell phone bills as they are on car or house payments. Something will eventually have to give and I just can't see how these carriers can continue to charge such exorbitant monthly prices and gain subscribers. 

    Because people will pay more for quality. Isn't that the answer everyone on here regurgitates about Apple products so why can't it be good for someone else?
  • Reply 15 of 25
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post


    Something will eventually have to give and I just can't see how these carriers can continue to charge such exorbitant monthly prices and gain subscribers. 



     


    What a glorious day that will be. How much longer do you think we'll have to wait?

  • Reply 16 of 25
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    What a glorious day that will be. How much longer do you think we'll have to wait?

    Don't hold your breath, because it'll be no time soon.
  • Reply 17 of 25
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post



    The figure I'm interested in is the 80% iPhone activation. Makes one wonder what all the "Android is winning" nonsense is about.


     


    First off, that's only on AT&T.  The rest of the world outside of the US, which is the majority of smartphone sales, leans heavily towards Android.


     


    As for AT&T, activations include used models being re-activated.  


     


    For example, when the 4S came out, AllThingsD and CIRP Research found that:


     



    • 79% of iPhone sales on AT&T were loyal owners upgrading (*).


    • 49% of those upgrade buyers sold/gave their old phone to someone else.


    • 87% of those old phones were likely activated by the new owner.


    • ======== therefore...


    • 33% total (87% of 49% of 79%) of sales result in a used activation


     


    So for every three new iPhone 4S sold+activated on ATT, one used iPhone was also activated... or 25% of the total eventual activations


     


    If the iPhone 5 followed the same pattern, then up to 1/4 of the 4.8 million activations could be used iPhones, meaning that actual new iPhone sales would probably be ~3.6 to 4 million... or 60-67%(**) of new smartphone sales, not 80%.   Still very impressive, though.


     


    (*) Not unusual.  Every year it's reported that ~75% of iPhone sales at Apple stores are repeat owners.


     


    (**)  9to5Mac says 67%.

  • Reply 18 of 25
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    Because people will pay more for quality. Isn't that the answer everyone on here regurgitates about Apple products so why can't it be good for someone else?


    Yes, except when it comes to cell carriers quality has too many variables such as location, cost, voice, data, etc. I have used everybody, and I wouldn't classify my experience with Verizon as being one of quality. I didn't notice any appreciable difference in terms of the product, and it cost more. 

  • Reply 19 of 25
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    Don't hold your breath, because it'll be no time soon.


    I think $50 a month for unlimited everything on T-Mobile is pretty reasonable.

  • Reply 20 of 25
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    tbell wrote: »
    Yes, except when it comes to cell carriersquality has too many variables such as location, cost, voice, data, etc. I have used everybody, and I wouldn't classify my experience with Verizon as being one ofquality. I didn't notice any appreciable difference in terms of the product, and it cost more. 

    That's your opinion and can be said about anything. People speak with their wallets and they're saying VZW is the best choice.
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