AT&T has competing in a tough market, though it appears to be holding its ground. The company has announced earnings for the fourth quarter ending December 31, 2013. Revenue of the wireless division surged 16.8 percent year-over-year to $33.8 billion, translating into net earnings of 53 cents per share, beating analysts’ estimates of 50 cents per share. Over 1.2 million postpaid smartphone customers jumped on the carrier last quarter, thus accounting for 93 percent of AT&T phone sales in 4Q 2013. AT&T also soid over 440,000 cellular enabled tablets between October and December 2013.
The carrier also announced that 1.5 million customers signed up for its early upgrade program, AT&T Next, which was launched soon after T-Mobile’s infamous “Uncarrier” move brought Jump! last year, a similar early upgrade program that also features insurance for the device. Through AT&T Next, subscribers can pay for their device in installment and have greater flexibility over upgrade times. 15 percent of new smartphones and upgrades in the fourth quarter are accounted for by AT&T Next. While T-Mobile has tried quite hard to turn users away from other U.S. carriers, AT&T in particular, the carrier saw a churn rate of just 1.11 percent. Churn rate depicts the number of subscribers that abandoned AT&T for other carriers during the quarter, the carrier calls it “lowest ever” for any fourth quarter.