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Sprint CEO Dan Hesse   (Source: Mark Costantini/The Chronicle)
Sprint is reportedly committing to purchase 30.5m million iPhones over the next four years

All signs are pointing towards Sprint getting Apple's next generation iPhone, and the official announcement will come tomorrow during Tim Cook's keynote address. However, the price that Sprint will have to pay to join the iPhone brotherhood in the U.S. -- along with fellow wireless carriers AT&T and Verizon -- will be tremendous.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Sprint has agreed to buy 30.5 million iPhones over the next four years from Apple. The price tag for Sprint is a whopping $20 billion USD. Sprint will be subsidizing the cost of each on-contract phone to the tune of $500.
Another risk for the copmany is the fact that Sprint won't even make any money on the deal until at least 2014.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse approached Sprint's Board of Directors with the deal, and they were understandably hesitant about betting the company on Apple's smartphone prowess. But in the end, the Board felt that it was fighting a losing battle against larger rivals Verizon and AT&T which both have the iPhone. In addition, if AT&T's planned acquisition of T-Mobile were to be approved, its fortunes in the marketplace would be even more dire.
The board eventually decided, "How can we pass this up? We have to have it."

With Sprint's commitment to making unlimited data a priority for its customers (at a time when Verizon and AT&T are putting bandwidth caps on users), such a deal could help bolster Sprint's survival chances in this cutthroat industry.
While Hesse and the Board are definitely onboard with the iPhone deal, investors are less thrilled. Sprint shares closed at $2.73, representing a 10.2 percent drop from the opening bell.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Google Finance

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Leave AT&T/Verizon
By cjohnson2136 on 10/3/2011 4:50:54 PM , Rating: 5
Maybe customers will leave the two big ones because Sprint will have unlimited data and the iPhone

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By TheRequiem on 10/3/2011 4:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
I am! One thing to keep in mind, this article makes it sound like Sprint is betting everything it has on the iPhone, but really, all they did was just order a lot of phones. The absolute worse thing that could happen is Sprint breaks even, however, with a $100+ pofit on each iPhone sold, they are set in place to make a lot of $$$. This also does not account for millions of new subscribers for unlimited data, which I think will be a huge deal to a lot of people wanting more freedom and cheaper prices.

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By Reclaimer77 on 10/3/2011 5:05:37 PM , Rating: 3
The grass isn't always greener. I have a Galaxy S II, unfortunately it's serviced by Sprint. Let me tell you, it's like having a Ferrari chained to a oil tanker anchor. Unlimited plan? I'm lucky if I have enough 4g signal in my area to hit any other providers cap out there. So what's the point of having an unlimited plan. Thank god almost everyone has wi-fi for me to connect my phone to when I'm out on the town doing stuff, or I might have returned my phone and waited for Verizon or AT&T to get the Galaxy II.

Sprint should have taken this money and invested it in replacing their dreaded WiMax network with LTE. You know, like everyone else in the world did already?

I'm just saying before you jump ship, do what I didn't do. Research Sprint's coverage map for your area.

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By cjohnson2136 on 10/3/2011 5:09:38 PM , Rating: 2
I researched when I jumped shipped and also talked to people in my area who have Sprint. The 4G coverage in my area is always full bars. From time to time I will have 3 bars but that not to often. A few of my friends are jumping ship as soon as the iPhone goes to Sprint.

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By Reclaimer77 on 10/3/11, Rating: -1
RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By Brandon Hill on 10/3/2011 5:43:59 PM , Rating: 5
Well, it's a good thing that I'm not shallow enough to base my friendships on what phones (or cars) they buy ;-)

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By Reclaimer77 on 10/3/11, Rating: -1
RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By xype on 10/3/2011 5:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
Having friends with people who need to have their life experience validated by a popular smartphone? Nah Brandon you have it all wrong, THAT would make me shallow :)

Judging people by their choice of a mobile phone: Not Shallow™. Got it, thanks for clearning that up!

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By Pirks on 10/3/11, Rating: 0
RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By Reclaimer77 on 10/3/2011 9:55:22 PM , Rating: 1
Judging people...

They aren't people, they're sheeple :)

Not Shallow™

LOL, nice!

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By FITCamaro on 10/4/2011 11:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yep all the Apple sheep at work today were fawning over the new iPhone. I was like "it doesn't even have 4G". But it has a better camera!

Besides how could they sell you an iPhone 5 in 6-12 months if the 4Gs had 4G?

I'll enjoy insanely fast data speeds while Apple sheep snap worthless pictures of themselves using their other Apple products.

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By TakinYourPoints on 10/3/2011 9:42:57 PM , Rating: 2
It's a good thing you don't judge people based on what products they buy, what a hypocrite that would make you

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By bjacobson on 10/3/2011 6:08:21 PM , Rating: 2
yeah me too wtf i paid for 4gs and im only getting 3 bars thought it was supposed to be 4/????

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By TheRequiem on 10/3/2011 5:17:38 PM , Rating: 3
It is a well known fact that coverage differs carrier to carrier in different locations. Where I live, in Las Vegas, Sprint has awesome 4g and 3g and even get's signal in elevators in the casinos where as our AT&T phones do not. It's your own problem to check coverage before you purchase a phone and use it in your area if your supposedly having such difficulty. Sprint service has been really good for my wife, no issues. So that's a matter of your opinion and the general consnsus is that it has improved greatly with it matching Verizon in cust satisfcation inex. With AT&T, I have to call three times just to find out basic information sometimes.

I think the grass will be greener, in time. Sprint's Network Vision is amazing technology and they will be the only ones. It may be aburden now, but in the future it will save them billions and improve the experience. I'm also pretty certain Sprint is well aware of the limitations of it's partner Clearwire and it's Wimax network and so we will see on october 7th, the amazing 4g lte plans Sprint will have as a part of Network Vision, which will allegedly run on 800mhz and have ridiculous building penetration. 800mhz is not that far off from Verizons and AT&T's LTE spectrum in the 700mhz bands, it's close enough that you won't notice any difference.

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By The Raven on 10/3/2011 6:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah these guys are complaining about not having a lake nearby right after they bought a boat.

I lose Sprint signal in the boondocks. But I don't care because of the low low price that I pay. Just so long as it works in my house and the places I frequent. I don't care if I am connected to the world via phone when I am camping for example.

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By Reclaimer77 on 10/3/2011 8:43:19 PM , Rating: 1
Ever heard of Charlotte N.C? Yeah umm I live a few miles from a massive metropolitan area, so excuse me for assuming a nation wide carrier would have at least decent coverage in my area. If Verizon or AT&T customers had a problem here too, you would have a point. But Sprint is the only carrier with issues. Your analogy is off base and silly, this ain't no boondocks.

You can bash me all you want, but Google searches will tell you all you need to know about Sprint. Great data plan, bad data network.

But they ARE working on it. So there's good news.

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By sigmatau on 10/3/2011 10:21:07 PM , Rating: 2
It's worse in Raleigh/Durham. Maybe it's my phone, but out of AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and even Boost, the worst one is by far Sprint. I thought it was my phone but I had someone else test theirs when I was having issues with mine and they couldn't dial out.

Sometimes it will take 5 tries to place a call. This is downtown with 4 bars. Why would I freaking care about going to an unlimited plan from Sprint if I can't even place simple calls consistently?

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By TheRequiem on 10/4/2011 11:35:03 AM , Rating: 2
It's ok, in time, you will learn to join the dark side of the force.

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By Gamingphreek on 10/4/2011 11:45:56 AM , Rating: 2
Your argument is terrible and biased. **Boost IS Sprint with no roaming**

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By TakinYourPoints on 10/3/11, Rating: -1
RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By Brandon Hill on 10/4/2011 7:49:07 AM , Rating: 3
Charlotte, NC is a major banking center in the U.S. To mention that Raleigh/Durham is basically Silicon Vally East.

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By Reclaimer77 on 10/4/2011 8:58:56 AM , Rating: 2
Please, don't even dignify his discriminatory antics with a response, Brandon.

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By retrospooty on 10/4/2011 9:32:15 AM , Rating: 2
"Charlotte, NC is a major banking center in the U.S. To mention that Raleigh/Durham is basically Silicon Vally East. "

It is true, these cities are modern and very metro... Reclaimer, however is still an Appalachian Nazi.

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By TakinYourPoints on 10/4/2011 5:00:02 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say anything about Raleigh/Durham, I'm fully aware of the large tech community over there.

I'll talk smack about Charlotte all I want though. :)

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By The Raven on 10/5/2011 12:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
excuse me for assuming

Sorry I won't. And neither will the court system re: the contract you entered into. If fact, I don't know how you got stuck in such a situation with the softball laws that we have protecting idiot consumers re: carrier contracts. So no, you have no excuse unless there is something I am missing (like you were grandfathered in on a 10 yr contract lol).

And I didn't mean to come across as saying anything disparaging about NC.

I am simply saying that there are some places (could be NYC for all I care) that get good reception on some carriers and not so good/no reception on others. All that matters is that it works where you need it. And if it doesn't work where you need it, then why are you using it and complaining about it. My experience has been great with Sprint while living in NorCal, SoCal and the STL area. If it doesn't work in NC and I lived there then I wouldn't be with Sprint either.

There is either a lake where you live or there isn't. Don't complain if you bought a boat.

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By AmbroseAthan on 10/3/2011 5:26:59 PM , Rating: 2
For myself, I have hit in excess of 20GB a few months on Sprint. The bulk of this is streaming Google Music or Pandora to my phone. While lately this is on 4G, for a very long time in my old office it was only 3G and I still hit those numbers (using Pandora then, as no Google Music then). I don't know any providers that have caps that would accomodate me to do so on 3G/4G using my phone.

And Sprint's LTE network starts roll out in the beginning of next year. So this is ontop of that also occurring.

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By Keeir on 10/3/2011 5:50:54 PM , Rating: 1

Lets review:

Iphone order: 20+ Billion
Market Cap: ~8.5 Bullion
Yearly Revenue: ~32 Billion
Net Income: ~-3 Billion

Sprint is essentially in the position where it -must- do more than break even on new deal. I also think the assumption that each iphone sold --> 100 dollar profit is pretty optomistic.

If a large percentage of these iphone go to NEW sprint customers who also do not ABUSE the data plans, then I could see this working very well for Sprint. But if Sprint fails to move the Iphones (After all there are better phones and better networks) or if Data usage is abusive to the point additional capitol projects need to occur... this could essentially be the tipping point to failure of the company. Its not like with ATT a few years ago. If an iphone customer is unhappy with the Sprint Network, there ARE other options.

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By retrospooty on 10/4/2011 9:36:48 AM , Rating: 2
You have to throw in the monthly revenue from the new customers with voice and data plans. It adds up fast.

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By TheRequiem on 10/4/2011 11:38:05 AM , Rating: 2
Precisely, I don't see that input there in that mathematic formula. Carriers don't make the bulk of their cash from the phones, they make a very miniscule amount compared to what they make in 2 years of retaining that customer.

RE: Leave AT&T/Verizon
By tviceman on 10/4/2011 3:18:07 PM , Rating: 2
Any AT&T / Verizon customer that is within Sprint coverage owes it to themselves to at least try out Sprint. If saving $20 a month isn't worth a different phone service with less restrictions, then as Dr. House would put it - "they're idiots."

Another possibility....
By Brandon Hill on 10/3/2011 5:08:01 PM , Rating: 2
I thought this was a bit "out there" to include in the story, but BGR claims that Sprint will get the "true" iPhone 5 (WiMAX) as an exclusive, while AT&T and Verizon will be stuck with the new iPhone 4S until Q1 2012 when they get their own LTE versions of the iPhone 5.

RE: Another possibility....
By cjohnson2136 on 10/3/2011 5:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
Very interesting though. I think that would make people more likely you jump ship to get the iPhone 5 now compared to the iPhone 4S.

RE: Another possibility....
By TheRequiem on 10/3/2011 5:20:39 PM , Rating: 2
It's possible the "Wimax" part could be a part of the exclusivity, but that would be it IMO. I don't think other carriers will be excluded from the iPhone 5, AT&T already has iPhone 5 case sin it's stores, allegedly.

RE: Another possibility....
By cjohnson2136 on 10/3/2011 5:25:23 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm well that would change things. I guess its just a matter of waiting and seeing. Not like it matters for me though I am still stuck with a feature phone :(

RE: Another possibility....
By mcnabney on 10/4/2011 11:51:58 AM , Rating: 2
There won't NOW, nor will there EVER be a WiMax iPhone. Apple is happy having a one chip solution now that provides GSM & CDMA. They DON'T want to add another radio to the damn phone, especially a WiMax radio which has already been announced as obsolete when Sprint joined the LTE 'club'. THERE WILL BE NO 4G ANYTHING IN THE NEW iPHONE!

RE: Another possibility....
By HrilL on 10/4/2011 12:47:51 PM , Rating: 2
It wouldn't be hard to use a different Wifi chip that also supports WiMax. They've had they chips for a long time and they're pretty much the same size and use the same amount of power. So the Sprint Phone could have a GSM/CDMA chip and a wifi/WiMax chip. This also might be why Sprint had to commit to a large phone order because they wanted their own WiMax version. Also some countries also have WiMax networks and this model could be sold over seas as well. Like South Korea for example.

Did HP take over Sprint?!
By soghjai on 10/3/2011 5:05:24 PM , Rating: 5
This type of bone head decision is something only a HP board would make. Instead of betting everything on 1 product that's not even exclusive is dumb.

They can easily steal customers from other carriers by simply offering unlimited mobile to mobile to all carriers, unlimited data (with no soft cap), and free tethering.

Sprint should invest in offering a unique service instead of trying to catch up with AT&T and Verizon.

RE: Did HP take over Sprint?!
By mcnabney on 10/4/2011 11:57:32 AM , Rating: 2
I don't understand why people are excited about 'unlimited' on Sprint. It isn't guaranteed bandwidth. It isn't getting used much now because Sprint is still losing customers. If all of sudden they started gaining customers and the network starts filling up all of the spoiled downloaders will just further clog the network making it slower and slower. I know caps are PITA, but they protect the service for everyone. They just can't run out to Home Depot and pick up another 15mhz of spectrum...

By inperfectdarkness on 10/7/2011 9:35:02 AM , Rating: 2
and at that time, sprint will likely have >40% market share. that's how it works. the little guy can offer more in this instance.

what i disagree with is putting the eggs in the iphone basket. crank up the value of unlimited by knocking off $5 per month on the plans. that'll cement the deal more than offering iphones.

Not such a risk
By Tony Swash on 10/4/2011 5:07:10 AM , Rating: 2
Very good by the numbers analysis of the so called 'Sprint Gamble', turns out it's not so much of a gamble.

RE: Not such a risk
By mcnabney on 10/4/2011 12:13:32 PM , Rating: 2
The numbers that article deals with requires Sprint to increase their Apple sales by about 50% every year with a first year commitment of 4M.

And they won't be 4G - they will be EVDO devices moving to LTE next year. So whenever Sprint fields an LTE network they will be able to have 4G when the real iPhone5 comes out in 2012. We get 4GS this year.

Is it an iPhone from Sprint?
By The Raven on 10/3/2011 6:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
"Does it have the wifis and the unlimited GBs?"

I'd buy it.
By CharonPDX on 10/3/2011 8:50:03 PM , Rating: 2
I left Sprint many years ago because of crappy phone selection and bad signal at my new house. Well, they have a decent selection now, and a friend recently came over and demonstrated that (at least on her phone,) a decent signal at my house.

Ironically, the company I switched to directly from Sprint closed up their own network and switched to rebranding service using Sprint's network! So I had to switch OFF them.

By Arsynic on 10/4/2011 9:14:02 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft is a strong new competitor with WP7 and Android's market share is increasing. Sprint is late to the party.

Droid Wins
By JimboK29 on 10/4/2011 12:53:57 PM , Rating: 2
Droids are far more superior. Droid does.

What, How, Why?
By SunAngel on 10/3/11, Rating: -1
RE: What, How, Why?
By Reclaimer77 on 10/3/2011 4:58:09 PM , Rating: 2
Sprint already sells a phone better than the iPhone 5. So whatever lol.

RE: What, How, Why?
By Pirks on 10/3/2011 8:51:18 PM , Rating: 1
Woohoo, Reclaimer works for Apple! He's seen iPhone 5, worked with it, and now with this hands-on experience he surely knows who beats iPhone 5! All hail Reclaimer from Cupertino USA! LOLOLOLOL :)))))) hahahahahaaaa

RE: What, How, Why?
By Reclaimer77 on 10/3/2011 10:06:13 PM , Rating: 3
I know all I need to know:

1. It's made by Apple.
2. It won't have a SAMOLED display
3. It can't match the Galaxy S II's GPU performance

Thank you for playing, goodnight!

RE: What, How, Why?
By Assimilator87 on 10/4/2011 12:34:59 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, the PowerVR SGX 543MP2, which is probably what will be in the iPhone 5, is over twice as fast as the Galaxy S II's Mali-400:

RE: What, How, Why?
By TakinYourPoints on 10/4/2011 12:52:36 AM , Rating: 2
Hardware aside, it also has developers who actually make use of those specs. I still have yet to see anything like what id, Epic, or what EA did with Dead Space on Android.

Weak hardware, weak developer support, weak OS with terrible security issues, and they call people who prefer iOS brainwashed? The best excuse they can come up with is that they're not "selling out", whatever that means.

I mean, if you're so irrationally opposed to iOS and resigned to not having as good developer support, at least go with a fundamentally better mobile platform like Windows Phone 7.

RE: What, How, Why?
By Pirks on 10/4/2011 1:25:51 AM , Rating: 1
what EA did with Dead Space
Yeah, big boys know good stuff, they released Dead Space on iPad and Playbook because these two are the only non-junk tablets on the market. Figures eh :)
go with a fundamentally better mobile platform like Windows Phone 7
Nah, tech illiterate specs fapper like Reclaimer won't know what Mango is, he's not that smart. I see Mango as a first non-BlackBerry contender for the crown in a long time. At last, we'll have the third non-junk platform besides iOS and BB/QNX, woohoo! Anyway poor Reclaimer gets pwned pretty often here. He may yet learn about non-junk platforms later, we'll see.

RE: What, How, Why?
By Pirks on 10/4/2011 1:13:38 AM , Rating: 1
Reclaimer pwned yet again :))) heheee

RE: What, How, Why?
By priusone on 10/3/2011 5:13:07 PM , Rating: 1
Why? Because idiots like me love having a physical keyboard. Perhaps someone here can convince me to join the rest of the world and go keyboard-less. If only we were all the one and the same, just like what Apple wants.

RE: What, How, Why?
By Tony Swash on 10/3/11, Rating: -1
RE: What, How, Why?
By phatboye on 10/3/2011 7:12:48 PM , Rating: 3
A lot of phones have speech recognition software, even my old LG flip phone from 2005 had very crude speech speech recognition capabilities. This is nothing new and definitely nothing that is exclusive to Apple hardware as that video would like you to believe.

RE: What, How, Why?
By kmmatney on 10/3/2011 10:41:28 PM , Rating: 1
This will have speech recognition that doesn't suck - there's a big difference. Just like the iPhone was the first phone where browsing the internet didn't suck. Apple is often not the first with something, but they are often the first to do it right.

RE: What, How, Why?
By DeluxeTea on 10/3/2011 11:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
You are talking to the Swash. Everything is Apple exclusive for him, even the ones they copied.

RE: What, How, Why?
By Tony Swash on 10/4/2011 5:02:01 AM , Rating: 1
A lot of phones have speech recognition software, even my old LG flip phone from 2005 had very crude speech speech recognition capabilities. This is nothing new and definitely nothing that is exclusive to Apple hardware as that video would like you to believe.

Clearly you didn't read the article in the link, which is a shame because its quite interesting. Siri uses speech recognition but is not speech recognition, it's use of speech recognition is a sort of plugin and can swapped in and out depending on whats the best solution (it seems Apple is probably going with Nuance). Siri is AI. It was the product of a five year US government funded and large scale research project to build am AI system. Apple bought it.

In 2003, the US Government began the most ambitious Artificial Intelligence program in its history called the “Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes” or CALO program. The name was inspired by the Latin word “calonis”, which means “soldier’s servant”. Funded by DARPA as part of its Personal Assistant that Learns project, the program ran for five years and brought together more than 300 researchers from 25 of the top university and commercial research institutions, with the goal of “building a new generation of cognitive assistants that can reason, learn from experience, be told what to do, explain what they are doing, reflect on their experience, and respond robustly to surprise.”

The program was coordinated through SRI International in Menlo Park, CA. As the program ended in 2007, SRI took the knowledge gained by the CALO and some of its key players and formed Siri.

Looks interesting doesn't it?

RE: What, How, Why?
By StevoLincolnite on 10/4/2011 8:17:30 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of phones have speech recognition software, even my old LG flip phone from 2005 had very crude speech speech recognition capabilities.

Yep. My Samsung SCH-p-207 had speech to text and voice dialing back in 2005.

Also had a Nokia 3310 back in 2000 which allowed for voice dialing to.

Voice recognition is an OLD technology dating back to the 1950's.

I hope Apple do it right. One thing I like Apple for is pushing other companies to improve because of the added competition. (Who leave them in the dust eventually.)

RE: What, How, Why?
By franciumgoesboom on 10/3/2011 5:33:54 PM , Rating: 3
I like having a phone I can customize. I am not locked into a specific App store. GetJar, Amazon, and the official store give me choices. I can also buy direct from developers.
I have a different keyboard, home screen, contact manager all which I enjoy better then what was given to me to start with.

RE: What, How, Why?
By kmmatney on 10/3/2011 10:45:32 PM , Rating: 2
From what I've heard, iOS 5 is already Jailbroken, so the people who want choices will have them. Even when you Jailbreak, its still nice that Cydia provides structure. If there is a problem App, its fixed quickly, which is a good thing.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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