AT&T Still Adding Subscribers After iPhone Exclusivity Ends

April 20, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

HIGHER EARNINGS: Randall L. Stephenson, CEO and President of AT&T, speaks during a forum at the Council on Foreign Relations March 30 in New York City. AT&T said this week that it reported a 39 percent increase in quarterly profit. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
HIGHER EARNINGS: Randall L. Stephenson, CEO and President of AT&T, speaks during a forum at the Council on Foreign Relations March 30 in New York City. AT&T said this week that it reported a 39 percent increase in quarterly profit. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
NEW YORK—AT&T Inc. reported a 39 percent increase in first quarter revenues and added wireless subscribers, in its first quarter after losing Apple iPhone exclusivity, the company said Wednesday.

The nation’s biggest telecommunications company said fiscal first quarter earnings were $3.4 billion, or 57 cents per common share, which came in around analyst expectations. The earnings were 39 percent higher than the $2.5 billion reported during the same quarter last year. Top-line revenues were 2 percent higher, at $31.2 billion.

“Our major growth platforms—mobile broadband, U-verse and strategic business services—continue to set the pace for the industry, and we’re still early in the growth cycle for all of these areas,” Randall Stephenson, the CEO of the Dallas-based AT&T, said in a statement.

Wall Street analysts were skeptical how the company’s wireless division would fare after losing its exclusivity arrangement with Apple Inc. in February as sole distributor of the wildly popular iPhone in the United States. AT&T responded well by adding 2 million wireless subscribers during the period.

Of the 2 million, new contract-based subscribers increased by 62,000. The rest consists of new iPad customers, and other non-phone, non-tablet services such as Amazon.com’s Kindle and GPS devices.

The company said that there were 3.6 million new iPhone activations during the quarter, which was more than a million more than the same period last year. Verizon Wireless, the biggest carrier in the nation, began selling the iPhone in February.

AT&T said that its customer churn, or turnover of customers, increased slightly to 1.36 percent in the wireless division, impacted by customer deflections.

The company announced on March 20 that it plans to acquire the assets of T-Mobile USA, the nation’s fourth-largest wireless provider. The deal is awaiting U.S. Department of Justice for antitrust review and approval. If completed, AT&T will become the nation’s biggest wireless carrier.