October 24, 2012
AT&T Reports Drop In Numbers For New Subscribers
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Reuters reported that five analysts had predicted the company gained 358,000 new subscribers during the quarter. Verizon Wireless gained 1.5 million new subscribers.
AT&T says it blames short supplies of the iPhone 5 for the lackluster figure, despite Verizon Wireless adding 10 times as many contract-signing customers as AT&T with the same shortages.
The Dallas-based company said the shortage of iPhones meant that most of them went to people who were already AT&T customers.
Just 18 percent of the 4.7 million iPhones activated in the quarter were new customers. This was AT&T's lowest iPhone activation figure yet.
However, Apple said yesterday during its iPad Mini launch event that it sold more than 5 million units during the iPhone 5's first weekend, which was the most phones ever sold in an opening weekend for any company.
AT&T's other excuse it gave is that it launched its new data-sharing plans later in the quarter than competitor Verizon did. Verizon launched its "Share Everything" plan just before the start of the quarter, where as AT&T waited until August.
Not all was a loss this quarter for AT&T. The company's quarterly net income was $3.64 billion, which was nearly unchanged from $3.62 billion the previous year.
Chief Financial Officer John Stephens said revenue for business services dropped 2.6 percent in the quarter, due to a slowdown in government spending and an unwillingness by companies to spend cash due to uncertain tax policies.