While consumers are waiting for their local carriers to restock supplies of Apple’s latest smartphone, it appears not everyone is scrambling to get the latest and greatest.
In a conference call with analysts on Oct. 20, Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO of AT&T Mobility, discussed the impact of the recent price drop of older-generation iPhones on smartphone sales, citing the 3GS model as a particular favorite thanks to its new price tag. The third generation iPhone is currently the first smartphone from Apple to be offered free with a two-year contract in the U.S. from AT&T.
De la Vega noted that AT&T has seen a “tremendous” demand for the older device, claiming that the carrier is seeing more new subscribers coming on the 3GS, on the average, than other devices. Due to the recent interest in the handset, de la Vega said AT&T has sold out its inventory of the phone.
The CEO went on to say that AT&T also experienced slightly slower numbers this quarter, like Apple, due to the iPhone 4S launching in the fourth quarter rather than in the third. Expecting AT&T’s numbers to heighten dramatically in the holiday quarter, especially after a record breaking weekend of sales for the iPhone 4S, de la Vega believes the company is “very optimistic” on what the fourth quarter will bring in regards to smartphone growth.
While the iPhone 4S is currently available through AT&T, Sprint and Verizon for $200 with a two-year contract, last year’s iPhone 4 model dropped to $100, after Apple released its fifth-generation iPhone.