UPDATED: Taking The Pulse Of The Wireless Industry As 3Q Results Roll In

By  Susan Nunziata — October 28, 2008

With all eyes on the economy and 3Q financial reports flowing in, it seems a good time to take the pulse of the wireless industry. We've compiled reports on the financial results of the major U.S. wireless carriers, as well as some of the top handset makers.

These companies don't break out the results of their enterprise-focused businesses; however the results do give us some perspective on the overall health of our industry.

While these financial results are decidedly mixed, it seems the players in the mobile space overall are taking somewhat less of a beating right now compared with their counterparts in many other sectors.


The Major U.S. Wireless Carriers

AT&T sold 2.4 million iPhones in 3Q, but the success is expected to impact its anticipated profit margins for the year, according to this report in The Financial Times.

Verizon 3Q sales beat estimates, bolstered by strong wireless business, reports Bloomberg.

Sprint releases its 3Q results on November 7; one analyst from UBS Investment Bank tells The New York Times he expects Sprint to report the defection of 1.1 million customers in 3Q.

The Top Handset Makers

Business Week addresses the rumors circulating that Microsoft might make a bid for Research In Motion. The BlackBerry maker has seen its share price plunge recently.

UPDATED (Oct. 30, 2008): Motorola's 3Q results were released October 30. Amidst a downturn in its mobile phone sales, the company is delaying the spinoff of its handset division and plans to lay off 3,000 workers, according to Reuters.

Although its overall 3Q net profit was down 44%, Samsung was the only major handset company that increased shipments in the three months that ended in September, reports Business Week.

Nokia blames pricing for its 3Q market share drop of 2 percentage points in the third quarter to 38%, while sales and earnings have declined over the year, per this report from Forbes.

Palm's 1Q 2009 ended on Aug. 31, 2008, and the company reported 1 million smartphone sales in the quarter, a 49% increase over the same period a year ago, according to the Associated Press.

For the first time in eight years, Apple's Steve Jobs participated in an earnings call to explain the impact of the iPhone, which he said accounts for $4.6 billion, or 39%, of the company's total business, according to this blog posting on Fortune's website.


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