AT&T sold record number of smartphones in fourth quarter

A new iPhone and handsets from competitors pushed the carrier to record unit sales

AT&T sold a record number of smartphones in the last three months of 2012 as consumers snapped up new products from the likes of Apple and Samsung.

The company sold 10.2 million [m] smartphones in the quarter, it said in a regulatory filing Thursday. Its previous best-ever quarter was the final three months of 2011, when it sold 9.2 million [m] smartphones.

AT&T didn't break down its sales, but the strong demand was likely due to the launch of the iPhone 5, which went on sale a couple of weeks before the quarter began, and new cell phones from competitors such as Samsung, Nokia and HTC.

AT&T was a U.S. launch carrier for Windows Phone 8, which Microsoft put on sale in October.

The results mean AT&T sold a total of 26.9 million [m] smartphones in 2012, up from 25.3 million [m] in 2011.

The company is due to report its full-year results next Thursday.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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