AT&T Q3 iPhone Activations: 3.2 Million

AT&T activated 3.2 million iPhones during its third fiscal quarter for 2009, a the highest number of iPhones the company has ever activated during a single quarter. According to the company, nearly 40 percent of its iPhone activations were for new customers.

Apple's combination iPod and smartphone accounted for the majority of what AT&T calls integrated handset activations, meaning they include QWERTY-style keyboards and 3G support. The company activated some 4.3 million units during the quarter, boosting the company to 81.6 million subscribers.

AT&T's news comes only days after Apple reported selling 7.4 million iPhones during its fourth fiscal quarter. We are thrilled to have sold more Macs and iPhones than in any previous quarter," commented Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Despite AT&T's strong iPhone numbers, some customers are disappointed with the company's ability to deliver features. The company only recently began letting iPhone users send text messages with photos even though other subscribers have been able to use the feature for some time. AT&T has also stalled on activating iPhone tethering support despite the fact that other smartphone users can already share their phone's wireless data connection with their laptop.

Those annoyances don't, however, seem to be enough to drive iPhone owners away from the company. AT&T reported its lowest customer turnover rate ever at 1.43 percent.

The iPhone is clearly a big draw for AT&T. With the company's in-progress coverage area improvements and planned wireless data speed rollout, it may be able to entice even more of its iPhone subscribers to stick around.