In the first quarter of 2012, 78 percent of all smartphones sold by AT&T were iPhones.
According to AppleInsider, AT&T announced in its earning call that the carrier sold a total of 5.5 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2012. Of that 5.5 million, 4.3 million smartphones were iPhones. That’s all iPhones from the iPhone 3GS up to the current iPhone 4S. Of the 4.3 million iPhones sold, 21 percent went to new AT&T subscribers.
In comparison, Verizon sold 3.2 million iPhones last quarter. AT&T does have a slight advantage in that it has the free-on-contract iPhone 3GS and Verizon does not.
While selling more iPhones than Verizon is impressive, the total number of smartphones sold is even more impressive. The first quarter of this year saw record smartphone sales for AT&T. The iPhone certainly helped those numbers, but 5.5 million smartphones is a lot for any carrier.
AT&T attributed the big iPhone sales to the “4G” HSPA+ capability of the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S on AT&T can theoretically download files three times faster than the same phone on the slower Verizon and Sprint 3G networks. AT&T’s HSPA+ network doesn’t extend to its entire network, but it does cover a significant portion.
During the call AT&T noted that 30 percent of all smartphone customers have a 4G-capable device. That includes the aforementioned HSPA+ and 4G LTE. That number should only increase as more subscribers get to the end of their contracts and sign up for new phones. Most, if not all new smartphones on AT&T support either “4G” or 4G LTE.
Current rumors say the iPhone 5 will have 4G LTE capability. With the iPhone selling so well on AT&T, that percentage will likely increase dramatically this fall, if the iPhone 5 does support 4G LTE.