Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

AT&T Activated 4.3 Million iPhones in Q1

AT&T’s iPhone activations are standing up well, even though Apple now sells the phone through more U.S. carriers than ever before. During an earnings call with analysts, AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega said AT&T had activated 4.3 million iPhones during the quarter, and of those, 21 percent were sold to customers new to AT&T. “We did this while facing more iPhone competition than ever before,” de la Vega said on the call.

Sales of iPhones led the overall increase in smartphones running on AT&T’s network to 41.2 million, up by nearly 10 million over the year-ago quarter. Wireless-data revenue increased to $6.1 billion in the quarter, up from $5.1 billion a year ago; the average revenue per user (ARPU), a key metric indicating how heavily smartphone owners use their devices, rose 15 percent.

De la Vega said AT&T is on track to report $24 billion in wireless revenue this year. “Strong smartphone sales drive strong data sales, and data drives this business,” he said.

It’s also a profitable business. De la Vega said that wireless margins, on an EBITDA basis, were 41.6 percent, up from 39 percent a year ago. Wireless operating income was $4.4 billion, up 11.3 percent year over year.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik