AT&T activates 4.1 million iPhones in last months of exclusivity

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With the impending launch of the iPhone on Verizon, many are wondering how many subscribers will swap carriers in the next few months. In its last quarter of iPhone exclusivity, however, AT&T has been making the most of its pedestal. During the last three months, the wireless carrier added a record 2.8 million new subscribers, making it the number one wireless carrier in the United States with more than 95.5 million subscribers.

While Verizon’s revenue fell 2.6 percent for the quarter, AT&T posted 2.1 percent growth, fueled primarily by its wireless division, which saw revenues climb 9.9 percent to $15.2 billion.

AT&T had 4.1 million iPhone activations in the fourth quarter alone, meaning AT&T’s success is likely a result of strong sales of and interest in the Apple device. AT&T is also the main carrier for Windows Phone 7 devices. Unfortunately, the fledgling operating system has seen a lukewarm response in its first few months on the market. Microsoft announced today have sold 2 million units in the quarter.

AT&T’s data revenue was also impressive. Data plan subscriptions increased by 20.4 percent for the quarter, again fueled heavily by smartphone users, a majority of whom use the iPhone. While millions subscribed to AT&T to buy an iPhone, the carrier has had trouble expanding its network fast enough to meet demands. Many users complain about poor data and voice service in major markets. Analysts and Wall Street is anxious to see how much of a hit AT&T’s financials take in future quarters when the prized smartphone is no longer an AT&T exclusive device.

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