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AT&T posts $6.7b loss despite record-setting smartphone sales in Q4 2011: 7.6m iPhones sold, Android sales growing

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AT&T just posted a $6.7b loss for Q4 2011, mostly due to the failed T-Mobile buyout — but smartphones sales set a record at 9.4m with 7.6m iPhones sold.

AT&T overshadows T-Mobile (fixed)
AT&T overshadows T-Mobile (fixed)

AT&T just released its Q4 2011 financial results, and the failed T-Mobile buyout combined with other charges means the carrier lost some $6.7b for the quarter — the carrier had to pay T-Mobile that $4b breakup fee, plus hand over $1b in spectrum after the FCC and DOJ combined to kill the proposed merger. AT&T also had to account for modified pension accounting, which made up the rest of the loss.

Ignoring that mess, things are going pretty well: AT&T added 717,000 subscribers and sold a record 9.4m total smartphones, of which 7.6m were iPhones — and the majority of those were iPhone 4S units. That's 20 percent of all the iPhones Apple sold during its own record-setting holiday quarter, and some 3m more iPhones sold than Verizon — AT&T sold just about 6.7m more total iPhones than Verizon for the year. As for the remainder, AT&T also says Android sales were also up double from last year, but didn't mention BlackBerry or Windows Phone numbers at all. All told, AT&T activated 1.7m more smartphones than Verizon last quarter, and beat its own previous quarterly record of 6.1m phones by 50 percent. The company also says it was the best quarter ever for other data devices like tablets, WWAN cards, tethering plans, and hotspots with 571,000 sold.

AT&T has a call scheduled for 10AM this morning to discuss these results; we'll let you know if anything interesting happens.