connections, according to Sharma. That growth was driven largely by continued momentum from Verizon Wireless and AT&T, but more importantly by a rejuvenated T-Mobile. Here's a quick breakdown on the nation's top wireless carriers and their general strategic position at the close of the third quarter:
Leap Wireless lost customers and reported lower revenue for the third quarter, though its customer defections were fewer than it had in the year-ago period. The flat-rate carrier, which operates the Cricket brand, is in the process of being acquired by AT&T, making its third-quarter report likely one of its last as an independent company.
T-Mobile US rolled to another strong quarter of subscriber growth in the third quarter, making good on executives' promises that the carrier would continue the momentum generated by its new no-contract plans, handset upgrade program and aggressive new style.
Facebook reported sharp increases in the number of mobile users accessing the social networking site in the third quarter as well as a bump in mobile advertising revenue. However, the company's shares fell after it said it did not plan to boost the frequency of ads shown to users.
Alcatel-Lucent reported a narrower loss for the third quarter amid rising revenue. The results indicate that the vendor's massive new cost-cutting plan is starting to take hold as it tries to nurse itself back to health as a smaller company.
Nokia Solutions and Networks' significant win in China Mobile's recent TD-LTE tender put a positive spin on the vendor's third-quarter results, as did an upbeat forecast of future growth. But a slip in sales nonetheless cast a shadow on NSN's ongoing turnaround.
The global smartphone market has calcified at the top, with Samsung Electronics and Apple continuing to lead the field by large margins, according to the latest reports from research firms Strategy Analytics and IDC. The fight is over which companies can clamor over each other to get to the No. 3 spot--and in the third quarter analysts concluded it was Chinese vendor Huawei.
Nokia reported record sales in the third quarter of its Lumia smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone software, and saw a sharp jump in its shipments in the North American market, signs that the company's strategy may be starting to take hold.
Apple sold 33.8 million iPhones in its most recent quarter, slightly above a consensus of analysts and a record for the company's September quarter. Apple also posted quarterly revenue of $37.5 billion and quarterly net profit of $7.5 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter. Overall, Apple's gross margin was 37 percent, compared to 40 percent in the year-ago quarter.
Apple reports its fiscal fourth-quarter results after the market closes today, and all eyes will be on how the company's iPhone business is doing, and to a lesser extent, how well its iPad tablet sales have held up.