Strong consumer demand for Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 5 should help the company meet its goal of selling at least 25 million smartphones this year said on Wednesday the AT&T Inc.(NYSE:T) Chief Executive Randall Stephenson.
“We’re having record sales with iPhones, and across the board, the portfolio of all that the smartphone business is hot,” Stephenson said.
Speaking at a Goldman Sachs technology conference in New York, Stephenson said that the iPhone 5 is “selling very, very well,” and AT&T is making good progress in building out its LTE, or 4G wireless networks.
More than 2 million iPhone 5 units had been sold in the first 24 hours of pre-orders available shipping begins on Friday Apple said.
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The iPhone 5 will go on sale in three versions costing $199, $299 or $399 with a two-year service contract.
The iPhone 5 will also be sold by rival carriers Verizon and Sprint. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse will speak at the Goldman conference later on Wednesday; Verizon chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam will speak Thursday morning.
Carriers such as AT&T are believed to pay Apple a subsidy of between $400 and $425 for each iPhone they sell.
Stephenson said that he still believes AT&T will be able to report wireless profit margins of 40% in 2012, and maintained the company’s outlook for selling 25 million smartphones this year.
“You have to do these kind of margins to generate a return on investment you put in the ground,” Stephenson said.
AT&T shares rose slightly to $37.77 in Wednesday morning trading.