AT&T appears to be the latest announcing higher iPhone sales. Continued “strong” demand for iPhone 4S likely will push the carrier beyond its previous single-quarter record sales of 6.1 million smartphones — and a month still remains before the end of the fourth quarter. The news isn’t too surprising, given in October AT&T activated 1 million iPhone 4S handsets in just five days.
In just the first two months of the quarter, the carrier sold 6 million smartphones, AT&T announced today. Earlier today, we reported other predictions of a record quarter for the iPhone. Citing “supplier checks,” Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu told investors he expects Apple will sell 28 million iPhones during the holiday quarter, up from an earlier forecasted 26 million. Despite “much improved production capacity,” supply for the handsets still can’t keep with the demand.
Although AT&T did not mention specific iPhone sales figures for the quarter, the Apple handset was the only smartphone mentioned by name. During the previous quarter, the iPhone comprised 56 percent of AT&T smartphone additions, or 2.7 million handsets. By comparison, rival Verizon posted 700,000 iPhone activations for the third quarter.
AT&T also updated investors on its progress building out an LTE network ahead of the LTE-enabled iPhone expected in early 2012. The carrier announced New York City would get LTE this month with 70 million people covered by AT&T’s 4G network by the end of 2011.