Apple iPhone boosts AT&T’s wireless business

“AT&T Inc. posted a 5.5% rise in third-quarter net income as the launch of Apple Inc.’s iPhone 3G in July helped boost the telecommunications giant’s wireless business, which posted strong subscriber gains and lower cancellations and offset wireline weakness,” Donna Kardos reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Chief Executive Randall Stephenson noted, ‘The new customers we’re winning are high-value, with attractive revenue and churn profiles.'”

“AT&T reported net income of $3.23 billion, or 55 cents a share, up from $3.06 billion, or 50 cents a share, a year earlier. The latest results include 10 cents in iPhone 3G launch costs. Excluding that and other items, earnings fell to 67 cents a share from 71 cents a share. Revenue rose 4% to $31.34 billion,” Kardos reports.

In “postpaid contracts, net new subscribers rose 40% while churn, the rate of customer cancellations, dropped to 1.2% from 1.3%,” Kardos reports. “The company activated 2.4 million iPhone 3Gs in the quarter, with about 40% of them from new AT&T wireless customers. Last month, Best Buy Co. also began selling the iPhone, becoming the first U.S. retailer besides Apple and AT&T to offer the popular device.”

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