Here’s Why AT&T is Smiling

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AT&T (NYSE:T) is shaping up to have a great fourth quarter — and year for that matter — as far as smartphone sales go. The company’s mobility CEO, Ralph de la Vega, says it has sold 6.4 million smartphones so far in the fourth quarter, and he expects the year total to reach 26 million with sales ramping up for the last month of the quarter, which just happens to coincide with the holiday season.

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A powerful lineup of iOS, Android (NASDAQ:GOOG), and even Windows (NASDAQ:MSFT) phones has AT&T prepared to meet the desires of most consumers, with particular attention going to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone, LG’s Optimus G, and Nokia‘s (NYSE:NOK) Lumia 920. And if smartphones weren’t enough, AT&T is pushing sales on tablets also featuring the big three operating systems, with expectations for great holiday sales figures.

Device sales are not the only area in which AT&T is making progress. The company is also dabbling in the $18 billion home security industry, with a low cost structure that could mean big margins. Also, AT&T is working with Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), T-Mobile, and vendors to implement phone-based payments using the near-field communication, or NFC, technology. Unfortunately, it may be some time before NFC sees much light in the U.S. as the iPhone 5′s exclusion of NFC hardware is predicted to set back the NFC market by 2 years in the U.S. and Western Europe.

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