One of the best ways to develop a picture of any company is with a SWOT analysis -- a look at a company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Today, courtesy of, we'll focus on AT&T (NYSE: T), which recently released a new smart phone data plan.


  • Largest provider of broadband in U.S.
  • World's largest communications holding company by revenue.
  • Broad portfolio of complementary products and services (wireless communications, local exchange services, long-distance services, data/broadband and Internet services, video services, telecommunications equipment, managed networking, wholesale services, and directory advertising and publishing).
  • Extremely capable network capacity, both physical (fiber optics) and wireless (including a growing 3G network).
  • AT&T Wireless exclusivity with Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone.


  • Increasingly more price-competitive market in both retail and wholesale markets.
  • Company obligations and liabilities from old business unit spin-offs.
  • Balance sheet -- company more leveraged than competitors within the industry.


  • Further industry consolidation (acquisitions).
  • Wireless growth, particularly through its partnership with Apple/iPhone.
  • Emerging markets/global expansion.
  • Further industry growth with 4G technology.


  • Increasingly ferocious competition in the wireless arena.
  • Emerging technologies -- falling behind smaller, more nimble companies and operators.
  • Price competition within industry pressuring margins.
  • Weather damage to antennas and transmission lines.
  • Reliance on iPhone gives Apple an upper hand in brand visibility.

What parts of AT&T's SWOT need more detail? Please improve this SWOT analysis by visiting

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