AT&T has just announced its 1Q12 earnings. The company reported a net income of US$3.58 billion, or 60 cents per share.

That’s up from $3.4 billion, or 57 cents per share in 1Q11. AT&T’s gains come primarily from lower iPhone subsidies, as the iPhone 4S was no longer new and thus the company sold fewer of them — which means it had less to pay out to Apple.

However, AT&T’s numbers are a good sign for Apple, which announces its 2Q12 earning after market closes today. The company activated 4.3 million iPhones in the quarter, with 21 percent new to AT&T. As GigaOm points out, that means that the demand for iPhones is up YOY on AT&T’s network. In 1Q11, AT&T activated just 3.6 million iPhones..

Earlier, Verizon announced it had sold 3.2 million iPhones this past quarter. We’ll have total iPhone sales numbers for Apple’s 2Q12 as soon as they are announced this afternoon.

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