Mobile

Smartphones pave the way for AT&T’s Q3: 6.1M devices sold, covering 64% of customers

NOTE: GrowthBeat is less than 2 weeks out! VentureBeat is gathering the best and brightest in modern digital marketing to help declutter the landscape, simplify the functions, clarify the goals, and point the way to success. Get the full scoop here, and buy your tickets while they last.

Despite a sequential quarterly profit dip, AT&T is still succeeding at getting smartphones out the door. In its third quarter earnings report today, AT&T said that it shipped 6.1 million smartphones — which mostly included 4.7 million iPhones. It’s also reporting “record” sales for Android and Windows Phone smartphones.

Selling smartphones is important for AT&T, because it’s also what attracts valuable contract customers. The carrier now has 44.5 million contract customers, up 1.4 million from the last quarter. AT&T added 678,000 net wireless customers, including 151,000 contract subscribers. Overall, smartphone users account for 63.8 percent of its 105.9 million network customers (which also includes prepaid users and those with non-phone wireless devices).

AT&T reported $31.5 billion of consolidated revenue today, but net profits were only $3.64 billion (down from $3.9 billion last quarter). That dip is mostly due to AT&T’s stock buyback plan (which cost $3.8 billion during the quarter) and continued LTE deployment costs. But at least profits were up slightly from $3.62 billion last year.

On a call with investors today, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said that more than a third of customers adopting its mobile share plans are choosing the large 10 gigabyte plan. He noted that the average revenue per user, or ARPU, was much higher for those customers.

For some reason, AT&T created a video starring de la Vega to explain today’s earnings. Check that out below:

Photo: Matt Hollingsworth/Flickr