AT&T Q4 2012 results include 10.2 million smartphones sold, 8.6 million iPhone activationsAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
Looks like we're getting a fourth quarter 2012 results report two-fer today, as AT&T just let loose its stats for the final three months of last year. As expected, AT&T says that it saw record smartphone sales in Q4 2012, with the final number reaching 10.2 million, which the company says is the "most ever sold by a U.S. carrier." Digging into that stat a bit reveals that AT&T activated 8.6 million iPhones in the quarter, 16 percent of which were new to the carrier. AT&T also reports that Q4 2012 was its best-ever sales quarter for Android devices, but there's no mention of exactly how many units that Google's little green robot moved.
On the customer side of things, AT&T said that it grew by 1.1 million total customers in the fourth quarter, 780,000 of which were postpaid. Around 69.6 percent (47.1 million) of AT&T's postpaid subscribers owned a smartphone at the end of Q4 2012, up from 58.5 percent (39.4 million) in the year-ago quarter. AT&T says that 31.7 million customers (more than two-thirds of its subscriber base) are on either a tiered data plan or Mobile Share plan, with more than three-quarters of tiered data plan customers opting for a higher-priced plan. Meanwhile, more than 6.6 million customers were on a Mobile Share plan at the end of the quarter, with 2.2 million total Mobile Share accounts that have an average of about three devices per account.
Finally, AT&T shared some Q4 2012 financial figures. AT&T's wireless business pulled in $17.6 billion in revenues, a growth of 5.7 percent year-over-year. The carrier's wireless data revenues grew 14.7 percent year-over-year to finish at $6.8 billion. It wasn't all good news for AT&T's financials in the quarter, as it posted a net loss of $3.9 billion in the final three months of 2012, though that is an improvement when comapred to the $6.7 billion loss that AT&T incurred in Q4 2011.
Sounds like AT&T had itself a pretty decent quarter, no? Interestingly, the big blue carrier says that it's seeing quite a few customers switching from its grandfathered unlimited data plans to its Mobile Share plans, with more than 15 percent of new Mobile Share customers switching over from an unlimited data plan. While some folks will likely continue to clutch their unlimited data plans with a death grip, it appears that many are opting to take advantage of the shared data plans, something that may be aided slightly by AT&T's decision to require that customers have a tiered or Mobile Share plan to use iOS's FaceTime over Cellular feature.
AT&T's Q4 2012 results call is taking place now, and you can bet that we're listening in to see what the carrier has to say. We'll update you if he drops any juicy wireless tidbits.