AT&T Has Serious iPhone Dependency Issues

AT&T's quarterly earnings came out yesterday and touted that, as always, AT&T picked up over a million new customers—1.4 million, to be exact. It also revealed how badly they need the iPhone.

Of AT&T's 1.4 million new customers, around 800,000 came aboard with the iPhone (given that of the 2.4 million iPhones they moved, "more than a third" were customers new to AT&T), continuing a long-running trend . That is, growth heavily fueled by the iPhone.

Also, AT&T moved a total of 3.5 million integrated 3G devices (that is phones with 3G + QWERTY keyboards), including the iPhone. That means the iPhone accounted for roughly 68 percent of those sales. Okay, but that includes smarter dumbphones like the LG Neon or Samsung Magnet. Meaning it forms an even higher percentage of legit smartphones sales—like vs. BlackBerry or Nokia's E71 or Windows Mobile.

Which translates directly into money: Wireless revenues were up 37.2 percent, driven by "messaging, internet access, access to applications and services," or precisely those phones. That has to frighten them at some level—they're deeply dependent on the iPhone.

Overall, AT&T stands at 79.6 million subscribers, up 6.7 million from last year. Verizon's not releasing their full earnings breakdown until next week, but they did report that they stand at 87 million customers, adding 1.1 million this past quarter. Verizon's an interesting contrast, since they've maintained a similar (but slightly slower) growth clip as AT&T even since the latter became the exclusive iPhone carrier in the US.

Personally, I'm most curious to see Sprint's earnings for a glimpse at what effect (if any) the Palm Pre has on the continuous slide they've been on for what feels like forever now.

[AT&T]