Ina Fried

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AT&T Tops Earnings Expectations on 4.7 Million iPhone Sales, Strong Pickup for Shared Data Plans

AT&T on Wednesday reported better-than-expected earnings on revenue of $31.5 billion.

The telecommunications giant also said it sold 4.7 million iPhones in the quarter, and signed up two million customers for its new shared data plans in just five weeks. The company said it added 678,000 net wireless customers in the quarter, including 151,000 contract customers.

AT&T said its iPhone sales were hampered by inventory constraints, noting that “the vast majority” of iPhone sales in the quarter went to existing customers looking to upgrade. On a conference call with investors, the company said it activated twice as many iPhone 5s as its nearest competitor.

Overall, the company sold 6.1 million smartphones, with a total of 44.5 million such devices now on its network. That’s up eight million from a year ago, and 1.4 million from the prior quarter.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work