Numbers Game

Ok, so AT&T says one thing, Apple says another, and let’s be frank, it’s all a numbers game. But I have a question, which was brought up by my mom – can AT&T report a number that would reflect on earnings if they don’t have the money in the bank? With the activation, the only way to do it was using iTunes and a credit card of some sort. Since that would go through the Visa/Mastercard Duopoly, most likely, instead of having 30 hours of sales to record, AT&T would have somewhere between 6 and 12 hours, because only banks in states that require actual saturday postings of debits from V/MC to vendors would have actually transferred the money to AT&T – and most states don’t require that at all. AT&T can’t report income it hasn’t received yet as ‘sales’ anymore. It’s projected income, but it’s not booked sales. Sarbanes/Oxley changed that.

So really, it might just be even more impressive to realize that in the first, say, 9 hours they sold and activated AT&T’s 146,000 while in the full 30 hours of sales of iPhones nearly twice that were sold – 270,000, per Apple.

Methinks that reporting requirements fucked this one, not the device or even the activation woes.