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Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 02:44 pm PT (05:44 pm ET)

AT&T activates at least 3.7M iPhones in Q2, more than half of 6.8M total smartphone sales

AT&T, the second largest U.S. carrier by subscribership, posted its earnings for the second quarter of 2013 on Tuesday, meeting Wall Street expectations while selling a record 6.8 million smartphones.

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For the second quarter of 2013, AT&T activated at least 3.7 million iPhones. The exact number isn't known, however, because executives declined to get specific during their quarterly conference call on Tuesday, despite the fact that the carrier has offered such data in the past.

But the company did reveal that iPhone activations grew year over year. It is known that total iPhone sales reached 3.7 million in the June quarter of 2012.

The nation's No. 1 carrier, Verizon, announced last week that it activated 3.8 million iPhones. Apple's smartphone accounted for more than 50 percent of both telecoms' smartphone activations.

AT&T noted that the previous three-month period saw record Android handset sales, while smartphones as a whole accounted for 88 percent of postpaid phone sales for the quarter.

AT&T added 551,000 postpaid customers, the company's best performance in that sector since 2008, while 35 percent of those were LTE-enabled smartphones. As for the telecom's data network performance, per device usage was up 50 percent year-over-year, a number that will likely grow as AT&T builds out its LTE capabilities throughout 2013. By year's end, the network is expected to cover almost 270 million POPs, and will be largely complete by mid-2014.