Report: AT&T overshadowed by iPhone exclusivity talk

AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) will remain successful even if it loses exclusive rights to Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone, according to a new report in Barron's. The financial newspaper said market chatter over if or when the carrier loses the rights to the smartphone is drowning out the company's ability to sell wireless data and voice and other services.

Analysts remain divided over whether AT&T will lose rights to the iPhone this year, a device that generates an enormous amount of business for the carrier (AT&T activated an astounding 2.7 million iPhones in its most recent quarter). Recent reports indicate Apple is prepping a CDMA version of the iPhone, possibly for AT&T rival Verizon Wireless.

AT&T reported strong financial results last week, but, like larger rival Verizon Wireless, has begun to see slower growth in postpaid subscriber additions. AT&T notched 1.9 million net subscriber additions in the quarter, of which only 512,000 were postpaid subscribers. However, AT&T has managed to diversify its mix; the carrier added 1.1. million "connected" devices to its network during the quarter, such as ereaders and other products.

For the time being, though, AT&T said it is content with the trend--postpaid subscriber ARPU rose 3.9 percent in the first quarter to $61.89.

For more:
- see this Barron's article (sub. req.)
- see this Reuters article

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AT&T, Verizon may face weaker postpaid subscriber growth in Q1
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