April 24, 2013, 10:28 PM —
Though it dropped off a bit from its previous blockbuster quarter, AT&T's announcement of another 6 million smartphones sold in the first three months of 2013 is as good a sign as any that the march toward more mobility continues apace.
While it might seem like everybody already has a smartphone of some sort, AT&T's numbers over the past 6 months makes it seem like there is still room for the market to grow. Following the always-bigger holiday season (when it sold 10 million smartphones), this most recent quarter also saw AT&T add 365,000 tablet customers to postpaid plans, meaning that those customers see value in having cellular connectivity directly embedded into their tablet devices.
In case you're wondering, AT&T's biggest rival in the U.S. market, Verizon Wireless, also had a big first quarter, with 7.2 million smartphone activations. What these numbers tell me is that there is still a lot of pent-up demand for better and better-connected mobile devices, and that choice of these devices is going to continue to be driven by personal choice, not by corporate IT.
I also think it means that Apple iPhones and iPads will continue to dominate for the foreseeable future, no matter what people say about enterprise workers wanting Windows Tablets. So far, those Windows wishers haven't converted their thoughts into purchases. For now, the mobile device world remains an Apple-dominated scene, led by consumer purchases.