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Sprint takes big loss thanks to investment in iPhone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 08 Feb 2012 18:39 User comments (2)

Sprint takes big loss thanks to investment in iPhone Sprint, after spending billions on bringing the iPhone to their network, has taken a larger than expected loss for the Q4 2011.
The company confirmed it paid $15.5 billion to Apple for a four-year commitment on the iPhone, the first of which, the iPhone 4S, went on sale in October.

During the quarter, which ended at the end of December, Sprint activated 1.8 million of the smartphone. Rival AT&T activated 7.6 million and Verizon did 4.3 million during the same period. Making Sprint's number much more impressive (for the carrier) was the fact that 40 percent of the activations were from customers that were new to the company.

Contract-based subscribers jumped 161,000 for the quarter, a rare gain for the carrier which makes most of its money from contract-free customers.

While the jump in subscribers and activations was certainly nice for the carrier, it came at a very steep price. The company saw a quarterly loss of $1.3 billion, their largest in 3 years. Losses related to the iPhone came in at the equivalent of $350 per phone sold.

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2 user comments

19.2.2012 11:56

Hhm... I got into a debate with an individual over whether Target should get into bed with Apple was a good idea. My contention was similar to the Demotivational poster you folks have probably repeatedly seen before; desperation is a stinky cologne...

Even to see Apple's stuff displayed in Walmart (what little they'll sell any more) is as though they're carrion... & no, I'm not trolling, pix can be provided. So, obviously given the parameters of this article, Apple's preceding egocentrics are what's killing Sprint's bottom line here.

Are we to assume had it not been for this huge bite out of Sprint's ass up front that they could have possibly put these funds back into service readiness? Hindsight being 20/20 anything is certainly possible, but I offer that that Sprint shouldn't have let a self centered organization dictate their 'known' business model on an annually changing brand model.

Even Walmart's "sell us your goods at this price or we won't sell your stuff in our store" mentality is wearing thin & might actually be biting them in the ass as well. I.e., a bit of 'conform or die' I suppose.

With regards to Sprint, who cares how many phones you sell if you can't keep them on the air, you can't keep your customers & you give a third of your operating costs to a schizophrenic hoarder on a monthly basis (for that phone manu.); much less $15.5 BILLION on a hunch.

It's more than time folks should be pushing CrApple around as apposed to CrApple dictating the rules. Yeah, Frank Sinatra did it his way, but even he had to obey the laws of gravity & he couldn't just leave up & leave a restaurant w/o paying for a meal either.

Talk about a gambling habit or a victim of a con job...


29.2.2012 12:56

I think it more like a missed opportunity. Sprint should have bidded on the i-phone early on when it was about to be released.

They were playing catch-up and paid for the lapse in time. I am willing to bet Sprint execs were nervous as to not having the i-phone, as opposed to upgrading their service. I left them, for I couldn't get a signal in most places I was in. I had to move close to a window. Hell, when I visited my partents at their house I was in a dead zone there with Sprint.

I think Sprint is going down a slippery slope.

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