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AT&T adds 551,000 postpaid wireless customers, sells 6.8 million smartphones in Q2 2013

AT&T adds 551,000 postpaid wireless customers, sells 6.8 million smartphones in Q2 2013

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The second largest wireless carrier in the US unsurprisingly had some success this past quarter. AT&T has published its Q2 2013 earnings report, revealing that it added 551,000 postpaid subscribers from March to June compared to the 941,000 such customers that rival Verizon Wireless added over that time. Interestingly, 398,000 of those postpaid additions were tablet customers. Overall the company added 1.2 million smartphone subscribers over the period and sold a total of 6.8 million smartphones, which includes a "record" number of Android sales. AT&T now reports that 73 percent of its postpaid customers are on smartphones — a nearly 16 percent increase year-over-year. That's combined (with increased LTE service) to a 50 percent increase in data usage compared to the same period last year. In all, the company is reporting $32.1 billion in revenue with $3.8 billion net income. Total revenues for the company's wireless sector reached $17.3 billion, a 5.7 percent increase year-over-year.

AT&T continues to push its subscribers onto its Mobile Share data plans, as evidenced by its new lower-cost options. It says 18 percent of its postpaid subscribers — about 13 million — are on Mobile Share plans, up from 10 million last quarter. In addition, in looks like the company has been successful in getting people off of grandfathered unlimited plans. The report says over 70 percent of postpaid smartphone subscribers are on limited data rate plans, compared to 62 percent last year and just 45 percent two years past.

Update: AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega highlighted on the earnings call that record Android sales and increased iPhone activations year-over-year were spurred on by the company's trade-in promotions. Speaking of AT&T's bid for Leap Wireless, de la Vega said the company believes "there's a strong growth opportunity" when it comes to prepaid, which only gained 11,000 customers over the quarter. While many speculate AT&T was interested primarily in Leap's spectrum, the CEO said the acquisition "will accelerate our expansion in [the prepaid] segment," adding that it will "fuel our entry into a nationwide prepaid offering." To date, the company's prepaid offerings have been a sidenote, but with the purchase (if approved) AT&T may be taking it more seriously.