AT&T Moves 10 Million Smartphones: Positive Omen for Apple and Nokia?

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Yesterday, AT&T  (NYSE: T  ) announced that it sold 10 million smartphones in the fourth quarter. That's a nice big, round number, but it didn't exactly impress investors as the company saw its shares decline sharply after the announcement. 

As technology analyst Eric Bleeker discusses in the video below, part of the problem is that smartphone growth isn't what it used to be. While worldwide smartphone growth clocked in at 47% in the third quarter, and surely posted another astounding growth rate in the fourth quarter, that growth is happening in markets like China. The days of heady double-digit smartphone growth are simply gone in America. 

That being said, the numbers speak well for a couple of companies. Researcher Kantar media reported at the end of November that Apple  (Nasdaq: AAPL  )  had a 71.8% share of smartphone sales on AT&T in the preceding 12 weeks. That's a surprising 9.5 percentage points higher than the firm tracked Apple's share on AT&T during the same time frame last year. 

Another company that's benefiting from AT&T smartphone sales is Nokia  (NYSE: NOK  ) . Kantar showed Windows Phone at just 3.7% of all AT&T smartphone sales in the same study. Still, that's much higher than its share on Verizon  (NYSE: VZ  ) , which isn't selling Nokia's flagship Lumia 920. Market share figures might not show Nokia making much of a dent, but all its eggs are essentially in AT&T's basket this holiday season when it comes to American sales. To hear Eric's thoughts, watch the video below. 

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The segment below runs from 6:19 to 8:26.

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