Revenue, however, fell slightly, from $31.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008 to $30.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009. Earnings per share was $0.51, meeting the expectations of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
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Mobile and broadband growth fueled the increase in net income, the company said. The company added 2.7 million mobile customers in the fourth quarter, the second highest quarterly increase in AT&T history, the company said in a news release.
The increases were driven by "rapid" adoption of smartphones such as Apple's iPhone, e-readers and netbooks, AT&T said. Mobile operating revenue increased by 7.6 percent between the fourth quarter of 2008 and the fourth quarter of 2009, from $12.9 billion to $13.8 billion.
The company activated 3.1 million iPhones during the quarter, officials said. AT&T will offer service for Apple's new iPad tablet computer, the company said.
"We're excited about the device, and we worked closely with Apple for planning for its connectivity on our network," said John Stankey, president and CEO of AT&T Operations. "We have a thorough technical understanding with a good read on the iPad's usage requirements and characteristics."
Mobile data revenue increased by 26.3 percent to $3.9 billion, AT&T said.
"We had a solid 2009 and led the industry in the biggest growth driver -- mobile broadband," Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "Looking ahead, customer demand for connectivity, particularly mobile broadband and IP data, continues to be strong, and AT&T is well-positioned at the center of this growth."
AT&T will add significant mobile capacity during 2010, Stankey said. The company has been the target of ads, with rival Verizon Wireless claiming its wireless 3G network is more extensive than AT&T's.