Expectations for Boring AT&T Earnings Call Mitigated by iPhone Activation Numbers
AT&T reported its first Anno DominiPhone earnings today and along with them the first hard sales numbers since the device arrived at market June 29. AT&T activated 146,000 iPhones by June 30–with 40% of them purchased by new AT&T customers.
That’s quite a bit lower than expected; analysts had predicted about double that number. That said, it could be that Apple sold more iPhones than AT&T activated. A significant number of early iPhone adopters ran into trouble activating their phones during the rush of early sales (see video below). Indeed, some were unable to do so until July 1. We’ll find out if AT&T’s early activation numbers were misleading tomorrow afternoon, when Apple reports earnings.
Oh, and speaking of Apple earnings, they’re likely to be well above Wall Street predictions and the company’s own estimates. Which may be par for the course in the quarters ahead if the financial terms of Apple’s deal with AT&T are as current rumors describe them. According to TheStreet.com, AT&T is paying Apple a bounty of between $150 and $200 per iPhone along with a $9-a-month royalty over the length of the typical two-year customer contract. Said TheStreet.com’s Scott Moritz, “Bulls on the stock believe the nifty terms–which haven’t been baked into Wall Street’s earnings estimates for Apple–could push Apple’s high-flying stock into the stratosphere.”