( 4UMF NEWS ) AT&T Wireless Subscribers Down:
When Verizon Wireless started selling the iPhone, AT&T sounded a defiant note, saying that its customers would remain loyal. A year later, it’s clear that the Verizon iPhone has crimped AT&T’s stride.
Verizon had little problem attracting new customers before it started selling the iPhone. In fact, it was the only wireless carrier that managed to keep up with AT&T’s iPhone-fueled growth.
But with the iPhone in its arsenal, the country’s biggest wireless company is getting bigger, while No. 2 AT&T Inc.‘s growth has slowed precipitously.
On Tuesday, AT&T revealed that it essentially gained no phone subscribers on contract-based plans in the first quarter. That’s only happened once before: A year ago, when Verizon launched its version of the iPhone.
Contract-based plans are by far the most lucrative for a phone company, and the number of new customers is an important measure of growth.
AT&T gained a net 187,000 customers on contract-based plans in the January to March period, but these were almost all tablet users, brought in by the launch of the new iPad in March. Even on contract-based plans, tablet customers pay between $15 and $50 per month, whereas smartphone customers often pay more than $100.
By contrast, Verizon last week reported adding 501,000 subscribers on contract-based plans.
Over the last five quarters, Verizon has added nearly three times as many contract subscribers as AT&T. Over the previous two years, the rivals split new subscribers nearly evenly.
- AT&T’s Q1 profits actually rose because it sold fewer iPhones (venturebeat.com)
- IPhone bills boost Verizon 1Q revenue growth (newsok.com)
- iPhone bills boost Verizon 1st quarter revenue growth (kansascity.com)