Print 7 comment(s) - last by Concillian.. on Oct 27 at 9:06 PM

  (Source: Into Mobile/AP)
Sprint hopes for big boost from iPhone, but may be hit by tethering defectors

Sprint Nextel Corp. (S), America's third largest carrier, had some good news to report today with its latest earnings report.

The company reports that in the third calendar quarter of 2011, it earned $8.3B USD in net revenue and $1.3B USD in adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA).

Sprint has reached its highest subscriber totals in the last five years, driven by 1.3 million new subscribers in the quarter --with 304,000 new standard (post-paid) subscribers, 485,000 new prepaid subscribers, and 835,000 affiliate (e.g. business) subscribers.

The company did all of this without the Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone, which is now on Sprint’s network.  The company writes:

Growth in Sprint brand net additions was achieved without the benefit of Apple’s iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, which launched Oct. 14. The launch of this iconic device resulted in Sprint’s best ever day of sales in retail, web and telesales for a device family in Sprint history. The response to this device by current and new customers has surpassed initial expectations. The iPhone is expected to be accretive for Sprint, and iPhone users are expected to be among Sprint’s most profitable customers.

Still, the outlook for the company isn't altogether rosy.  The company reported a net loss of $301M USD for the quarter.

Adding to the negative side of the picture, the firm recent killed unlimited data on its tethered and tablet connections, and forum traffic indicates that some customers are already cancelling their tethering service.  With smartphone data potentially on the chopping block next, it remains to be seen how much more Sprint subscribers will put up with.

Also we recently raised concerns about how Sprint is allowing text message frauders to victimize its customers, happily billing customers' plans without their approval and reportedly pocketing a cut of the revenue from the fraud scheme.

These concerns aren't enough to entirely outshine the positive movement at Sprint, but they do give cause to pause when considering a move to Sprint’s network.

Source: Sprint

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Sprint sprinting
By undummy on 10/26/2011 3:39:00 PM , Rating: 3
With the Wallyworld economy in full swing, too many can't afford the fancy phones and pricey plans from the other Verizon/ATT/Tmobile wireless telecoms. This is no different than Hyundai/Kia outselling Ford last year(along with outselling other automakers). Sure, GM/Toyota are tops in sales but 'look out'. When you lose touch of the customers and their wallet, you risk losing!

We'll see more shopping on price with Net10, VirginMobile, StraightTalk, TracFone, BoostMobile,...a couple which are owned by Sprint.

The company that buys Leap and MetroPCS has a future. Will it be Sprint, Verizon, or ATT ???

Data caps aren't an issue for the majority of customers. Those that let their lives be controlled by tech can whine and cry all they want. Get off your angrybirds and GO OUTSIDE!

RE: Sprint sprinting
By Dr of crap on 10/27/2011 9:07:06 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, exactly.
I would rather be outside doing anything, even yard work, then staring at the tiny screen posting dribble to Facebook. And data caps - I don't even care.

By Concillian on 10/26/2011 4:17:31 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't I read somewhere that Sprint was planning on a year or two of net losses while building out it's switch from WiMax to LTE?

I swear they basically came out and told investors they were going to have a net loss for a while.

RE: Wait
By Camikazi on 10/26/2011 11:24:15 PM , Rating: 3
Seems investors don't believe the companies when they say this, they just like freaking out when it happens, no matter how much warning they get :P

woulda, coulda, shoulda
By inperfectdarkness on 10/26/2011 3:33:32 PM , Rating: 2
sprint would have been WAY better off if it said "we don't care about iphone, we're just going to offer the best mobile data plans--and eventually apple will cave on pricing.

RE: woulda, coulda, shoulda
By Concillian on 10/27/2011 9:06:53 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't work like that. They tried that... and they bled customers.

Thing is, the iPhone accounts for more customers than just iPhone customers....

As an example, if my wife wants an iPhone for Christmas, but I'm happy with whatever phone, I either have to:
- fight with her to convince her she doesn't [i]really[/i] want an iPhone (great for the relationship)
- ignore her desires (also great for the relationship)
- pay out the ass for 2 individual plans
- move to a network that has an iPhone as an option

Guess which one people in this situation do most often? When they have kids and such too, one iPhone user switching may account for 2-4 actual customers gone.

Sprint worries me...
By quiksilvr on 10/26/2011 3:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
First they data capped tethering. Then they data capped mobile hotspots. Something tells me within a year it will be the end of unlimited data on mobile phone.

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