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AT&T Big Winner at CTIA Based on Social Buzz

Robert Melstein|CNBC Development Producer

AT&T dominated the social conversation at the International CTIA Wireless 2012 conference in New Orleans, according to the just-released rankings of the exclusive CNBC Social Conversation Index: Mobile Edition.

AT&T store, New York City
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The Index, powered by Collective Intellect, analyzes social conversations — 15 million daily posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, blogs, news sites and more —surrounding all things mobile, including brands and platforms (iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry OS), carriers, phones and tablets.

Looking at Mobile Carriers segment, AT&T was ranked number one in Engaged Consumers (with more than 36 percent of the conversation), the most telling metric of the Index. Engaged Consumers is an overall measurement of positive social conversation.

Digging a little deeper into the CNBC Social Conversation Index, AT&T’s good showing was mostly due to its association with the debut of Samsung’s Focus 2 (on May 20th) — a Microsoft Windows Phone – and Apple’s iPhone (iPhone 5 is reportedly coming out later this year).

Verizon was ranked number two in Engaged Consumers — excitement surrounding the soon-to-be-released 4G HTC Droid Incredible LTE driving the Verizon conversation. Sprint , Boost Mobile and T-Mobile round out the top five in the Carriers Engaged Consumers metric.

Apple, which usually doesn’t attend trade shows like CTIA, was by far and away the most buzzed about phone in the CNBC Social Conversation Index: Mobile Edition. Even though Apple did not attend CTIA, its iPhone captured nearly two-thirds of the Engaged Consumers conversation (as measured from May 7-9) in the Phones segment of the Index.

Another CTIA no-show — Motorola— actually came in second in Phones Engaged Consumers, driven by Droid mentions and rumors surrounding a new Droid Razr release.

Interestingly, Blackberry placed third. Consumers seem to be giving a thumbs-up to the Research In Motion deal with TomTom for its real-time traffic app. Samsung and HTC came in well behind in fourth and fifth.

Some very interesting findings in the Tablets segment of the Index. The Apple iPad (29 percent) squeaks out a win in the Engaged Consumers metric — sliding past Amazon’s Kindle (28 percent). Samsung’s Galaxy Tab ranked third (21 percent). But in the Affinity metric (language like “I like it” or “It’s great”), the Kindle beat out the iPad — and the Galaxy. Also interesting: Apple’s iPad ranked number one in Unfavorable mentions; Kindle garnered a lot less negativity, ranking third in Unfavorable (the Galaxy was second).

Over to the Brands and Platforms segment of the Index. Apple (and iOS) well ahead in first, with the biggest share of Engaged Consumers (overall positive mentions).

Samsung, HTC and Google (and its Android platform) duking it out for second place spot. RIM (and Blackberry OS) — behind Nokia — well behind in sixth. This indicates that while Apple — according to the Index — is the most engaging brand for consumers, there is a real battle going for the non-Apple share.

Finally, here are some “ones to watch” as indicated by Index. We picked up notable conversation about AT&T’s upcoming Digital Life remote IP-Based Home Monitoring Service.

According to AT&T, Digital Life will allow users to program their air conditioners, unlock doors, turn on the lights and more — right from your iPad or iPhone. Also we found buzz surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S 3 phone (in addition to the previously mentioned HTC Droid Incredible and Samsung Focus 2).

Want to see how your favorites are doing in the exclusive CNBC Social Conversation Index: Mobile Edition? The Index is now an ongoing part of CNBC’s multi-platform of the mobile industry. Check it out at

Note: For this report, we ran the Index over the period from May 7-9, 2012.