iPhone Crushes Android at AT&T Corporate Stores in December

Apple’s iPhone outsold Android devices 7.8:1 at AT&T’s corporate retail stores in December. A source inside the company told The Mac Observer that those stores moved some 981,000 iPhones between December 1st and December 27th, and that the Apple device accounted for some 66% of all device sales in the period. Android devices, on the other hand, accounted for just 8.5% of sales in the same period.

AT&T Device Share from 12/1/2011 to 12/27/2011

Chart by The Mac Observer

According to the numbers we were shown—numbers not shared through official AT&T channels—AT&T sold some 981,000 iPhones through its corporate stores in the first 27 days of December, while 126,000 Android devices were sold during the same period. Even basic flip and slider phones did better than Android, with 128,000 units sold.

Research In Motion’s BlackBerry platform is also struggling at AT&T’s corporate stores, with some 74,000 devices sold during that time frame. Windows Phone 7 is reportedly even less of a factor.

There are several caveats that go along with this story. The first is that the numbers are only for AT&T’s corporate-owned fleet of retail stores. They don’t include authorized resellers, online sales, telephone sales, or any other retail outlets. The numbers also do not include devices sold through Apple. Secondly, while we are confident in our source, we were unable to corroborate our numbers with AT&T’s official PR channels or other sources.

As such the point of the story isn’t that iPhone has taken 66% of the market, but rather that the iPhone is doing very well in one particular environment, AT&T’s corporate retail stores. As the first iPhone carrier in the world, AT&T has been the dominant iPhone carrier in the U.S. since day one, and AT&T has consistently claimed that the iPhone is its best selling device.

At the same time, Verizon was the first carrier to fully and deeply embrace the Android platform, and at Big Red, Android devices have heretofore collectively outsold the iPhone since it was introduced early in 2011.

The reality is that in the September quarter, Android devices outsold iPhone by nearly 2:1 around the world. Earlier on Friday, research firm comScore reported numbers for November that show in the U.S., Google had 46.9% of the smartphone market compared to Apple’s 28.7% during the month of November.

The big picture isn’t reflected by AT&T’s numbers, at least not during December. We should add, however, that December is a heavy holiday buying month, and Apple’s iOS devices are a hot holiday item that boost Apple’s share higher than it might otherwise be during the rest of the year.

AT&T declined to comment for our story, pointing to the company’s official policy not breakdown sales numbers.

[Updated at 9:08 PM EST with AT&T’s decision to decline comment. - Editor]