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AT&T Rules the iPhone With 20% of Global Sales Pie

The company said that it activated 7.6 million iPhones during the fourth quarter, with the majority of them being 4S models. According to Apple, 37.04 million iPhones were sold in Q4 in total, which gives AT&T more than 20 percent share - globally. There may be some minor inventory fluctuations between the time frames of AT&T's and Apple's quarters, but given the fact that Apple is still selling every iPhone it makes those fluctuations are likely to come down to rounding errors in Apple's iPhone shipment number.

AT&T posted 103.2 million postpaid subscribers, behind Verizon's 108.2 million. 57 percent of AT&T customers (69.3 million subscribers) own smartphones, while its larger rival Verizon stands at only 44 percent penetration (47.5 million customers). Verizon noted that it sold 7.7 million smartphones during the quarter, which includes iPhones, Android phones as well as other platforms such as Windows Phone. Even though Verizon does not break out its iPhone numbers, it is easy to assume that AT&T clearly beat Verizon again.

Driven by the iPhone, AT&T was able to generate higher wireless revenues of $16.7 billion during the quarter, despite a subscriber base that has five million fewer subscribers. Verizon's revenue landed at $15.1 billion