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Jesus phone raptures AT&T profit

Net income increases 41%, revenue nearly doubles

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AT&T posted a 41 per cent profit increase in the third quarter, largely attributed to iPhone sales.

The $3.1bn net income compares with $2.2bn earned in the same period last year. Revenue nearly doubled to $30.1bn in Q3 from $15.6bn a year earlier.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said the company activated 1.1 million iPhones since the product launched, with 40 per cent of those subscribers being new customers to AT&T. The iPhone followers were a hearty chunk of the 2 million customers that signed up in Q3 for wireless service, helping to boost mobile phone revenue 14 per cent from a year earlier to $10.9bn. AT&T says it has a total of 65.7m subscribers.

Apple said yesterday it has sold 1.4 million iPhones through the end of September, and estimated 250,000 customers purchased the device with the intention of unlocking it from AT&T's cellular network. More about that here.

AT&T's operating income for the quarter was $7.2bn, compared with $3.1bn year-over-year.

The company reports it saved $2.8bn so far this year from its acquisition of BellSouth, about 70 per cent from expense (that's firing workers, cutting marketing costs and reducing operational expenses) and 30 per cent capital. The company expects to grab an additional $3bn for the full year, $5bn in 2008 and more than $6bn in 2009. ®

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