75% of AT&T customers own smartphones

When the smartphone rush began in 2008, even the most aggressive estimates put feature phones in the lead until at least 2018. Oh, how wrong they were.

You would think AT&T is getting close to smartphone saturation. As of the end of the third quarter, three out of every four of its contract customers now owns a smartphones, and the large majority of its new activations are replacing older smartphones on its network.

But AT&T continues to grow its smartphone base. It added 1.2 million smartphone connections in the third quarter. 178,000 of them were new customers coming from other carriers, but the remaining 1 million were all current customers upgrading from feature phones. AT&T added the same number of net new smartphone subscribers in the second quarter as well, and given the refresh of the iPhone line and the usual holiday spurt, we’ll likely see even more smartphone net adds in the fourth quarter.

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