These non-exclusive contracts with Apple are significant assets to both AT&T and Verizon. Currently, Apple iPhone activations represent over 70% of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)’s smartphone customer base, which was approximately 3.7 million of its total 5.1 million smartphones sold in the first quarter of 2013. Verizon activated 7.2 million smartphone’s in the first quarter of 2013, with approximately 4 million being iPhones.
In terms of competitor technology advances, Verizon is currently investing $100 million in “a solar and fuel-cell energy project that will help power 19 of its facilities in seven states,” according to Verizon. This is Verizon’s biggest commitment to clean power projects. It will allow Verizon to substantially offset its carbon emissions footprint by the equivalent of 3,000 passenger cars annually. Verizon is forward thinking with this project, as it expects a return on this investment in 10 years in terms of no longer paying other electricity companies for their power. It will also help with off grid resiliency; which has been deemed an important aspect over the last two decades.
Verizon is also putting together a new bid to buy out Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD)’s Verizon Wireless shares after its proposed $100 billion bid was rejected in April. Consequently, Vodafone’s shares have been increasing since talks of this buy out earlier in the year. This buyout is expected to bolster Verizon’s growth.
Other competitor advances
Another competitor technology advance is the powering of the electric vehicle by Vodafone, India’s “first truly ‘connected car,’” with its machine-to-machine (M2M) communication services, which directly involves a strategic technology partnership with Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles. This means drivers can use a smartphone app to remotely access features such as locking and unlocking doors, finding the closest charging station and checking the charge on a battery. This partnership is expected to significantly increase Vodafone’s revenue.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has been changing with the times, as we can see when it partnered with Apple and when it developed the U-Verse TV; there is no reason to believe that it will not continue to be at the forefront of telecommunications advances. It does have its competition, but competition is good, especially in the telecommunications arena, as it has led to many great technology advances.
I do believe that AT&T has changed a lot since 2005 and the original “sell” recommendation can be reconsidered. I believe AT&T is a good long-term investment that comes with the bonus of a good dividend, a dividend that helped put AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) on DividendRank’s “S.A.F.E. 25” stock list.
Pamela Kaval has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Vodafone.
The article Should We Reconsider AT&T? originally appeared on Fool.com.
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