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AT&T has just posted its Q4 2012 earnings, showing strong growth in both wireless and wireline businesses. We'll be focusing here on the wireless business, naturally, so let's get right into the notable points:

Some 10.2 million smartphones were activated in the final three months of the year, the carrier said. Of that, 8.6 million were iPhones. AT&T didn't break down how much of the remaining 16 percent of sales were Android phones, but it did mention that our fare platform had its best-ever quarter. 

More of the financial stuff is after the break.

  • Total wireless revenues of $17.6 billion for the quarter, up 5.7-percent year-over-year
  • $6.8 billion of that revenue came from data charges, up 14.7-percent year-over-year
  • Operating expenses were up 6.9-percent, to $15.1 billion
  • Increased expenses led to a 1.2-percent decrease in operating income, to $2.8 billion in Q4
  • 780,000 postpaid subscribers and 246,000 device additions put the carrier's net subscriber additions for Q4 at 1.1 million
  • Prepaid subscribers were at a net loss of 166,000
  • Postpaid ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) increased 1.9-percent to $64.98, the 16th consecutive quarter of ARPU increasing

The carrier puts the blame of increased operating expenses on the cost of acquiring so many new customers, and is happy with the growth in revenue and customer base. Of the 10.2 million smartphones in the quarter, AT&T said 89 percent of postpaid phone sales are now smartphones. Currently, 69.6-percent of all phones operating on the network are smartphones. Of those 10.2 million smartphones sold in the quarter, AT&T claims it "activated" 8.6 million iPhones (the differentiation between "sold" and "activated" is puzzling.) That leaves the Android sales numbers at somewhere less than 1.6 million for the quarter (it likely sold a few Windows Phones and BlackBerrys as well,) which shouldn't be at all surprising if you've followed AT&T's numbers previously.

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AT&T says that 31.7 million customers -- or two-thirds of all smartphone owners -- have moved to some type of tiered data or Mobile Share plan. 6.6 million customers are now on Mobile Share plans, and more than a quarter of those plans share 10GB of data or more per month. If you're interested in some of the more gritty details of the earnings report, it can be found at the source link below.

Source: AT&T

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