AT&T posted their Q1 2012 results on Tuesday. Overall the results were better than analysts had expected. Although the Associated Press reported that AT&T’s 736,000 new subscribers was their lowest quarterly subscriber rate in eight years. Despite that fact, smartphone sales helped carry the quarter for the nations second largest carrier.
The shocking thing about AT&T’s results for Q1 was that of the 736,000 new customers only 187,000 customers were contract customers. Verizon on the other hand, reported last week that they added 501,000 contract customers. In fact, AP reports that over the last five quarters Verizon has added nearly three times as many contract customers as AT&T.
More after the break
The good news for AT&T was that they sold 5.5 million smartphones in Q1. That exceeded the record of the same quarter last year. 30% of all postpaid smartphone subscribers were on 4G capable devices. That includes both 4G/LTE and HSPA+ devices. With AT&T only the iPhone 4S is considered 4G because it is capable of HSPA+ 14.4.
Smartphones overall represented 78% of post paid device sales which echoes a trend across all carriers and across the world as smartphone adoption continues to rise.
Like T-Mobile, AT&T now has to set a clear plan as to what they are going to do about subscriber growth and network improvements. According to the company last year, the only possible way to continue to roll out their 4G/LTE network and maintain a good quality network was to purchase T-Mobile. Last Thanksgiving that merger fell through.
Other good news for AT&T was that churn was down to 1.1% the lowest level in seven quarters. Also, wireless data revenue increased by over $1 billion dollars year over year (19.9%) to $6.1 billion.