AT&T smartphone rampage continues with help from Apple

Even as AT&T’s(s t) smartphone penetration rises above 60 penetration of its contract customer base, it keeps signing up new smartphone subscribers at a dizzying pace. In the second quarter, 77 percent of all new postpaid device sales were for smartphones.
AT&T accrued only 320,000 new net contract subscribers in the three month period so many of those gains were replacements for departing customers as well as existing customers upgrading. In all, AT&T activated 5.1 million iPhones(s aapl), Android(s goog) devices, BlackBerrys(s rimm) and Windows(s msft) Phone handsets. In comparison, Verizon Wireless(s vz)(s vod) sold 5.9 million smartphones in the second quarter.
AT&T remains the destination of choice for iPhone users. It activated 3.7 million of the Apple devices between April and June, beating out Verizon’s 2.7 million iPhone sales. That’s nowhere near AT&T’s record of 7.6 million activations from the last year’s fourth quarter, but then the iPhone 4S had just been released. As the year goes on, subscribers are starting to anticipate the arrival of the new iPhone this fall. AT&T said that 22 percent of its new iPhone activations were customers arriving from other carriers.
AT&T’s total net subscriber gain was 1.3 million, giving it a grand total of 105.2 million. Its strongest growth area was in the reseller category, which is a good indication that AT&T’s new more open attitude to mobile virtual network operators is paying dividends. AT&T also saw 382,000 new connected device activations
In wireline, AT&T added 553,000 U-Verse internet and 155,000 TV subscribers, which helped offset the loss of 96,000 DSL subscribers. AT&T now has 6.8 million U-Verse customers.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock user Reno Martin