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Release Date: August 05, 2009
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Release Date: September 29, 2009
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  • The Life Pursuit

    • 8 out of 10
    • Belle & Sebastian
    • The Life Pursuit is a sort of Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. You get Belle & Sebastian's peanut butter (its wistful, often irresistible pop) dipped in a 'Have A Nice Day!' and glam 70s chocol

  • Guero

    • 10 out of 10
    • Beck
    • Beck is the modern master of the groove, and Guero is merely the latest example of this. From the opening power chords of "E-Pro," to the Pac-Man cuteness of "Girl," to the dirge-like lullab

  • Chicago Transit Authority

    • 10 out of 10
    • Chicago
    • For those of you who don't know, Chicago didn't always suck, and everyone in the band didn't always play a keyboard. When the band started off they were pioneers of rock and jazz fusion, and guita

  • Wolfmother

    • 8 out of 10
    • Wolfmother
    • Black Sabbath, The White Stripes, The Stooges. There aren't many bands worth their salt that want to be compared to other bands, but when I listen to Wolfmother's self-titled American debut, I can

  • Goodbye Jumbo

    • 8 out of 10
    • World Party
    • Released in 1990, World Party's

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iPhone #1 Revenue Online Generator for AT&T, #9 in Unit Sales

Despite being #9 in unit sales for AT&T, the iPhone is the company's #1 revenue generator online, according to a report published by comScore Wednesday. The firm said that flagship phone offerings from Apple (iPhone), HTC (G1), and RIM (BlackBerry Storm) were generating substantially more revenue for their carriers, despite their much lower unit sales ranking.

Sprint's Instinct by Samsung was the one exception to this finding, as it was the #7 revenue generator for Sprint, and #15 in unit sales.

Flagship Phone Unit Sales (New, Postpaid Lines Only)
November 2008 - January 2009
Wireless Carrier
Ranking by
Sales revenue
Ranking by
Unit Sales
AT&T Apple iPhone
Sprint Samsung Instinct
T-Mobile HTC G1
Verizon BlackBerry Storm

The firm's study measured shopping and purchasing behavior at the four major U.S. carriers in terms of handset sales and mobile data plans. While much of the coverage on the Apple's iPhone tends to be focused on the smartphone subset of the market, comScore's report measured this data across the spectrum of the carrier's product offerings, including all of the free (via subsidy) phones, refurbished phones, etc.

The results of the report are that it's the higher-end customers that are bringing in the most money for the carriers. While not specifically addressed in the report, one of the contributing factors would be the fact that the iPhone, Storm, and G1 all need data plans to take advantage of their smartphoness, and the carriers are able to charge a premium for those data plans in part because of the exclusive deals to carry their respective phones.

High End Pays for Carriers

The report also noted that an overwhelming percentage of all four carriers' top selling phones were given away for free (with contracts), meaning that the company's aren't seeing much, if any, revenue from the lowest end of the market.

Top Handset by Unit Sales (Postpaid Only, New and Refurbished Phones)
November 2008 - January 2009
Wireless Carrier
Top Selling Handset
Percent Sold That
Were Free
AT&T LG Shine (Refurb)
Sprint LG Rumor
T-Mobile Motorola RIZR Z3
Verizon LG VX8350

To add further context for how Apple and its smart phone competitors fit into the cell phone market, we should look at the percentage of phones that are free to users (with contracts):

Top Units Sold that Were Free
(Postpaid Only, New and Refurbished Phones)
November 2008 - January 2009
Wireless Carrier
Percent of Total
Units Sold for Free

Apple's iPhone is also subsidized by AT&T -- most estimates place that figure at approximately $400 per iPhone -- but consumers do pay for part of the device directly. Apple's 8GB iPhone is priced at $199 with a two year contract, while the 16GB unit is priced at $299.

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