AT&T Sold Record Number of Smartphones in Q1, LTE Rollout Ahead of Schedule

AT&T said it sold a record 6 million smartphones during is first fiscal quarter, while adding 1.2 million postpaid smartphone subscribers. By the end of the quarter, 72 percent, or 48.3 million of AT&T's postpaid phone subscribers were rocking smartphones, the wireless carrier announced. That's up 61 percent from 41.2 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Apple's iPhone line contributed to the majority of AT&T's smartphone sales. AT&T sold 4.8 million iPhone devices last quarter, though those sales came at the cost of heavy subsidies. Like Sprint and Verizon, AT&T sells the iPhone at a steep discount to subscribers who agree to a qualifying two-year service contract.

AT&T Store
Image Source: Flickr (JC0598)

AT&T reported consolidated revenues of $31.4 billion, down 1.5 percent versus reported results for the year-earlier period, and up 0.9 percent when you exclude the sale of Advertising Solutions. That's a bit below what analysts were expecting, and as a result, AT&T's share price is down more than 5 percent to $36.95 since reporting its first quarter performance.

The wireless carrier said it's "ahead of schedule" in deploying its 4G LTE network, which currently covers 200 million people. Ma Bell is accelerating its LTE rollout and by the end of 2013 it expects to reach 90 percent deployment of its overall goal to cover 300 million.