AT&T Q3 2012: 6.1m smartphone sales and 4.7m iPhone activations but revenues flat

AT&T activated 4.7m iPhones in Q3 2012, the carrier has confirmed, with 44.5m subscribers now using smartphones, and helping push average revenue per subscriber to a record $65.20 apiece. The company announced its latest financial figures this morning, with revenues of $31.5bn flat in comparison to the same period a year ago; operating income actually fell, meanwhile, down from $6.2bn to $6.0bn.

Nonetheless, AT&T is calling it a success, highlighting the climb in free cash flow. That – cash from operating income minus capital expenditures – rose to $6.5bn, and is on course to hit $18bn+ by the end of the year, as much as $3bn more than AT&T's previous guidance.

Digging deeper, data revenues proved increasingly valuable, up by more than $1bn year-on-year to $6.6bn, and nearly 2m people signed up to AT&T's Mobile Share plans within five weeks. More than a third of Mobile Share users are on the 10GB or above plans. Almost 64-percent of AT&T wireless postpaid subscribers are using smartphones, or 44.5m users, a rise of 1.4m from Q2; more than 40-percent of those customers use a 4G-capable device.

AT&T doesn't talk iPhone sales, only activations; it says it activated 4.7m, 18-percent of which were new to the network, though they aren't necessarily all new sales. Overall, though, 6.1m smartphones of all types were sold in the three month period, heavily outweighing featurephone sales, at 81-percent.

As for AT&T U-verse, there are now 200,000 more subscribers for TV and 613,000 more for wireline internet.