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AT&T Q2 2012 report: 5.1 million smartphones sold of which 3.7 million were iPhone models

July 25, 2012

It’s that time of the year folks, when quarterly reports for the second quarter of the year pile in. We have shown you Google’s and Apple’s results, and now we’re going to take a look at the second largest U.S. mobile operator, AT&T and its financial performance for the same period.

The carrier has reported a strong Q2 2012 with 10% earnings growth and the “best-ever wireless margins and churn in second-quarter results.” Naturally, we’re interested in smartphone and tablet sales, but before we move to that, let’s take a look at the overall numbers.

AT&T reported $31.6 billion revenue, a 0.3% increase compared to the year-ago quarter. Net income reached $3.9 billion in the quarter, which translates to $0.66 earnings per share, up from $3.6 billion or $0.60 EPS in Q2 2011. Operating margin was at 30.3% compared to 26.9 during the same time last year.

The company sold 5.1 million smartphones during the period, with the majority of them (3.7 million) being iPhone models. AT&T also says that one third of new smartphone sales are 4G devices, but fails to detail exactly what kind of 4G we’re talking about – real 4G LTE vs fake 4G HSPA+.

AT&T has also failed to mention any specific details about Android sales, or any other mobile platform excepting iOS.

Smartphones represented 77% of postpaid device sales, with 43.1 million AT&T customers now owning such a device, a number that represents 61.9% of the total number of postpaid customers.

When it comes to tablets, the company does not mention what devices sold better, but AT&T does say it added 496,000 connected devices and it now totals 6.3 million customers – the lists includes “tablets, tethering plans, aircards, mobile Wi-Fi hot spots and other data only devices.”

AT&T added 1.3 million subscribers in the second quarter, reaching a total of 105.2 million customers. Of the 1.3 million new subscribers, 320,000 were postpaid customers, 92,000 chose prepaid options, 382,000 purchased a connected device, while reseller net adds reached 472,000. Meanwhile, churn reached its lowest point event across the board: postpaid churn was at 0.97%, while total churn reached 1.18% compared to 1.15% and 1.43% in the year-ago quarter.

The carrier also notes that “more subscribers move to tiered data plans,” which is somewhat logical considering that AT&T no longer supports unlimited plans, but also that it has a lot of smartphone owners that are surely using some sort of data plan to get their mobile fix. Currently, there are 27 million AT&T subscribers on tiered data plans, or about two-thirds of smartphone buyers, compared to just 45% in the year-ago quarter.

Therefore, it’s also not surprising to hear that wireless data revenues grew by $1 billion, or 18.8% compared to Q2 2011, to reach $6.4 billion in the June quarter.

With all that in mind, we can certainly agree that smartphones and tablet sales are increasing from quarter to quarter so we should expect all the players involved, or most of them, to announce better and better quarterly results for the remainder of the year.