Archive for Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sprint gets iPhone, evens odds vs. AT&T, Verizon

October 4, 2011

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— Sprint subscribers will be able to use the iPhone for the first time, giving them one more reason to stay with the ailing company. But the phone will come at a heavy price for the company.

When revealing the new iPhone model, the 4S, Apple Inc. said Tuesday that Sprint will be among the carriers to sell it, starting Oct. 14.

Sprint Nextel Corp., the No. 3 wireless carrier in the U.S., has had a hard time hanging on to customers, while AT&T and Verizon, the two larger ones, have been luring people with the iPhone.

Being able to sell the coveted phone should help Sprint keep customers, but it will pay for the privilege. Like other carriers, Sprint will buy the phones for about $600 each, then sell them to customers for $199. That will put added strain on its already weak finances.

On Monday, The Wall Street Journal said that Sprint has committed to buying more than 30 million iPhones over the next four years. It cited unnamed people familiar with the matter. Apple and Sprint didn't comment on the report.

The Journal said CEO Dan Hesse had told Sprint's board that the company would lose money on the deal until 2014. Sprint has already posted a loss for every quarter since 2007.

Sprint's stock fell 10 percent on the report and briefly hit a three-year low of $2.25 in morning trading. After Apple's announcement, Sprint's stock closed at $2.86 for the day, up 4.8 percent.

Sprint has 33 million subscribers on contract-based plans, so its reported commitment means it would have to convert half of them to iPhones, assuming they upgrade after two years.

Comments

Nikki May 3 years, 8 months ago

Don't worry Sprint, I won't buy one. I'm sticking to my android platform.

3 years, 8 months ago

Same here. I like my EVO thank you very much.

northtowngrl 3 years, 8 months ago

I'm so conflicted... I had iphone envy for so long. Now that its time is it iphone or Evo???? I just can't decide.... discuss.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 8 months ago

Do you own a mac computer? If so, the tight integration between MacOS and IOS of the iPhone (and getting tighter) might tip you towards that device.

Otherwise, it depends on what you need it to do. Apple's done a very good job of staying ahead of the competition--the iPhone is clearly the most advanced product, both in hardware and available software. But getting it comes at a premium.

Generally speaking, Android devices are at least 90% as capable as contemporary iPhones. If that 90% or so does what you want/need it to, especially if you aren't too concerned with tightly syncing it with your computer, an Android device might do you just fine for less money.

gsxr600 3 years, 8 months ago

4S isn't really that different from a hardware side at all. I'll just wait for 2.5Ghz QUAD core cpus this time next year.

tao7 3 years, 8 months ago

Just talked to a sprint store rep and they have no clue when or how current customers can get an iphone. They said "the company has told them nothing more than what you have read online." What a joke. They should have a plan in place before they make such announcements. Glad my contract is just about up.

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