iPhone boosts AT&T subscriber base

The arrival of the iPhone helped AT&T to connect a record 2 million net wireless customers for the third quarter, up 47% over 2006, the company said.

It was the highest numbers of third quarter additions in the company's history, taking total subs to 65.7 million and wireless revenues 14.4% higher to 10.9 billion.

Since sales of the wildly popular new smartphone began in mid-June, AT&T has seen ARPU increase 2% and postpaid ARPU, fueled by iPhone contract sales, grow more than 5%. In the period, churn fell by 10 points to 1.7%

Operating income was up 38.6% to $2.0 billion, and margins rose from 14.8% to 18%.

AT&T's third-quarter revenues totaled $30.3 billion. Adjusting for the completion of the merger last December, this was a rise of 3.2% over 2006.