If Apple needed another reason to consider adding more U.S. carriers offering the iPhone, its current exclusive domestic carrier, AT&T, provided more ammunition Wednesday morning. The carrier announced it activated 2.7 million iPhones in the last quarter, a 13 percent drop from 3.1 million U.S. activations during the December quarter.
Additionally, AT&T reported U.S. iPhone activations hit 2.7 million during the first quarter of this year, a 69 percent year-over-year jump from 1.6 million activations in the first quarter of 2009. However, the 69 percent increase in U.S. iPhone activations was outpaced by Apple’s reported 131 percent increase in global iPhone sales.
One reason for the international versus domestic discrepancy could be Apple’s aggressive use of multiple carriers in Europe, Asia and elsewhere. Here at home, AT&T provided an insight into why the U.S. pace of iPhone sales hasn’t caught up with international demand.
Along with the increasing availability of Android-based phones on top of Blackberries, AT&T is seeing just one-third of iPhone activations in the U.S. coming from “switchers,”or people moving from another U.S. carrier just for the Apple handset.
As AT&T’s exclusive contract comes to a close this summer, Apple will need to decide whether it will renew the contract. Earlier, most analysts expected Verizon would get the nod to augment AT&T. Recently, however, analysts have sided with the belief the Cupertino, Calif. electronics company will keep AT&T it’s exclusive partner for the remainder of 2010.
[via Business Insider]