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AT&T growth strong amid iPhone 3G optimism

The telecommunications giant reports strong second-quarter growth as it begins selling the popular second version of Apple's smartphone.

Correction, 7:30 a.m. PDT Wednesday: This report mischaracterized the iPhone 3G's influence on AT&T's second quarter. The phone's launch came after the quarter's close.

AT&T reported nearly a 5 percent increase in second-quarter revenues, as it headed into the launch of the iPhone 3G.

The telecommunications powerhouse, which is the exclusive U.S. carrier of Apple's popular smartphone, reported that iPhone 3G sales nearly doubled within the first 12 days after its July 11 launch, compared with the initial launch of the iPhone in 2007.

"In the days following our exclusive U.S. launch of this new device, powered by the nation's fastest 3G wireless network, customer response has been everything we had anticipated and more," Randall Stephenson, AT&T's chief executive, said in a statement. "This strengthens our wireless business, and it reinforces our positive view of the opportunities ahead for AT&T and the industry."

AT&T reported total revenues of $30.9 billion in the second quarter, up 4.7 percent. The wireless side of AT&T's business, however, grew by double digits, jumping 15.8 percent to $12 billion in the quarter, compared to the same time a year ago.

While AT&T's wireless services rose 14.8 percent, to nearly $11 billion during the quarter, its wireless-equipment sales, which include the iPhone, soared 26.5 percent, reaching $1 billion.

The company also noted that it expects to generate ongoing strong growth in its wireless-data services, as customers snap up devices such as Apple's smartphone.

Although AT&T posted nearly a 5 percent increase in total revenues, it was shy of the nearly $31.2 billion Wall Street had been expecting.

The telecommunications company's net profits reached $3.8 billion, or 63 cents a share, compared with $2.9 billion, or 47 cents a share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, AT&T's net income was 76 cents a share for the quarter, hitting analysts' estimates.

Shares of AT&T traded up 3.08 percent on Wednesday morning, to $32.80 a share.