AT&T and iPhone in Q4
- AT&T has activated 4.3 million iPhone 3Gs since its launch, 1.9 million in Q4 alone — more than double its iPhone activations one year earlier.
- The average revenue from Phone users is 60% higher than the typical AT&T customer — thanks to that $30 per month data fee. Their heavy use of Web services helped drive AT&T wireless data use up 51.2% year to year, which as reader Jon in Brentwood, Calif., points out is not necessarily a good thing.
- About 40% of the iPhone activations this quarter were new AT&T customers, either buying their first cellphone or switching from another carrier.
- The churn rate — the percentage of customers who drop AT&T’s service — among iPhone owners is significantly lower than the rest of the network, sharply reducing marketing costs.
The iPhone is still an expensive proposition for AT&T. The payback to Apple is between $288 and $432 per phone over the life of a 2-year contract. The company spent $450 million last quarter on network upgrades to provide high-speed 3G coverage.
On the other hand, Q4 revenues were up 2.4% (to $31.1 billion) in a tough economic climate thanks to results in the wireless division that CEO Randall Stephenson attributed largely to the iPhone.
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