Android sales at AT&T continue to climb, half of all smartphone customers on tiered data plans

October 20, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka



AT&T announced today that sales of Android smartphones in the past three months are more than double what they were during the same period last year. The carrier did not give an exact number for Android sales in its Q3 2011 earnings, but did say that the iPhone’s dominance in sales is at 2.7 million. Non-iPhone sales, which are predominantly Android-based with BlackBerry following and some Windows Phone 7 scattered in, were at a combined 2.1 million.

The numbers represent a trend of AT&T’s Android sales doubling the performance of the previous year’s quarter. After more than two years of ignoring Android and then finally debuting a series of awful phones, AT&T finally decided to carry decent phones in 2010. Continued improvement in device options like the HTC Inspire, Motorola Atrix, and the Samsung Infuse have led to an impressive uptick in sales. The recently-released Samsung Galaxy S II will probably lead to similar reports for Q4 2011.

Another side effect of sales is that AT&T now has 18 million subscribers on tiered-data plans rather than the grandfathered “unlimited plans” phased out in 2010. AT&T originally suggested that only a small set of users ever went over 2 GB of data and that most customers would not hesitate to abandon their existing data plans. However, new contracts don’t give users that option, so there’s no way of really proving that. Anyone who likes a phone on AT&T or doesn’t want to move on to another company has to get a tiered data plan. This has led to nearly half of all subscribers being on tiered data.