AT&T breaks smartphone sales record in Q4, still posts a loss

26 January, 2012

AT&T released its fourth quarter results today, along with their full year results. There are some pretty interesting numbers - like record sales of both iPhone and Android phones.

In fact, smartphones are enjoying an explosive growth on AT&T's network. Compared to last year's Q4, sales of smartphones were up almost 60%, beating their previous record by a whopping 50%. Compared to Q3, the final quarter of 2011 saw twice as many smartphone sales.

In specific numbers, that's 9.4 million smartphones sold in Q4 of 2011, 7.6 million of which were Apple-made. AT&T is saying that the majority of them were the new iPhone 4S model. Android were also pretty hot, with sales doubling compared to the same quarter last year.

By the end of 2011, over half (56.8%) of AT&T's post paid subscribers had smartphones, which isn't surprising since 82% of post paid subscribers that got a new phone in Q4 went for a smartphone. It's also interesting that AT&T's revenues per subscriber with a smartphone are nearly double those per feature phone subscriber.

AT&T also managed to sell 311,000 tablets during the fourth quarter of 2011, though they didnít give a platform breakdown for those.

Anyway, as far as money goes, AT&T's consolidated revenues for Q4 2011 were $32.5 billion, a modest 3.6% increase year-over-year. Despite all the positive numbers, the communications giant posted an operating loss of $9 billion, compared to a $2.1 billion operating income for Q4 2010.

For the final quarter of 2011 AT&T posted a net loss of $6.7 billion. A big part of that loss is attributed to the failed T-Mobile deal, which resulted in AT&T paying T-Mobile USA $4 billion (as stipulated by their merger contract).

For the full year 2011, AT&T had a revenue of $126.7 billion and net income of $3.9 billion, compared to a revenue of $124.3 billion and net income of $19.9 billion for the full year 2010.

You can read AT&T's press release if you need more details on their performance.