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Sprint will continue to offer unlimited data for next-gen iPhone

post #1 of 12
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Although Apple's follow-up to the iPhone 4S remains unannounced, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse confirmed on Wednesday that his company will be offering unlimited data even if the device supports 4G LTE.

The third largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers aims to maintain the iPhone's unlimited data plan in what it believes is a trump card against competing offerings from other networks that have the handset like AT&T and Verizon, reports CNET.

"I'm not anticipating the unlimited plan would change by that point," Hesse said of the upcoming product's launch window. "That's our distinctive differentiator. We're clearly attracting customers from our competitors.""

Hesse's statement comes on the heels of Sprint's first quarter earnings call in which the company posted a loss of $863 million as 192,000 contract subscribers left the network. The exodus may be attributed to the shutdown of the Nextel network.

Despite the revenue slip, the telecom sold 1.5 million iPhones during the quarter, 44 percent of which were to new customers. This accounted for about 60 percent of all new subscribers joining Sprint's network in the past three months and brings the total number of subscribers up to 56 million.

The recent quarterly results are slightly lower than the company's holiday quarter where it sold 1.8 million iPhones, 40 percent of which were to new subscribers.

Sprint 4G
Source: Sprint


Wednesday's news adds to earlier statements from Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer who revealed in March that the company's current arrangement with Apple allows for the sale of an LTE iPhone if and when the Cupertino-based computer giant chooses to release such a device.

Hesse notes that he has no inside information as to when the next iPhone will debut or whether it will carry LTE support, though he guessed that all networks will be able to tap into the functionality when Apple launches such a device.

"Our expectation is that we will all get the same device at the same time," Hesse said.

Sprint, the last of the "big-three" U.S. wireless carriers to sell the iPhone, signed a commitment with Apple last year for 30.5 million iPhones in what was then called a "bet-the-company" move reportedly worth $20 blllion. In a subsequent 10-K filing in February it was revealed the company actually spent $15.5 billion on the deal, but the handset's success was such that it planned to exceed the agreement terms and purchase even more units.

"Frankly, it's a marriage made in heaven," Hesse said Wednesday regarding the iPhone and Sprint's unlimited data plan.
post #2 of 12

We will see how long it lasts. Sprint will have to have quite an extensive roll-out of their LTE network to support all of the people who want the next gen iPhone.

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post #3 of 12

It would be a match made in heaven if Sprint's data speeds and availability didn't suuuuuuuuuck soooooooooo baaaaaaaad.

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by emoeric87 View Post

It would be a match made in heaven if Sprint's data speeds and availability didn't suuuuuuuuuck soooooooooo baaaaaaaad.

I was wondering about that. It's one thing if carrier with fat data offers unlimited but another if it's slow because of the number of unlimited users on a stresses infrastructure. I'm quite surprised they are still saying unlimited will stay.

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post #5 of 12

Easy for them to do - 'cause when the Sprint network only dribbles data at a slow rate, who cares if the nominal capabilities of the next iPhone are 3G, 4G, etc.?!

 

(Spoken as a 14-year Sprint customer... I know, I know...)
 

post #6 of 12

Sprint paid Apple $15.5 billion for the right to 30.5 million iPhones?  That's $500 per phone; what are they doing, buying them retail off Apple's website?!

 

And for this, they sold 1.8 million iPhones 4Q11 (when the iPhone 4S was new, and they had pent-up subscriber demand), and 1.5 million in 1Q12.  Even if sales hold steady at an average of 1.5 million per quarter (less next two, then higher at the next iPhone roll-out), they'll still take 2 1/2 more years to churn through their commitment.

 

"Bet the company," indeed.

post #7 of 12

 

 

This was the original 'Google Phone' presented in 2006

250

 

http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/25/2974676/this-was-the-original-google-phone-presented-in-2006

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post #8 of 12

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierrajeff View Post

Sprint paid Apple $15.5 billion for the right to 30.5 million iPhones?  That's $500 per phone; what are they doing, buying them retail off Apple's website?!

 

And for this, they sold 1.8 million iPhones 4Q11 (when the iPhone 4S was new, and they had pent-up subscriber demand), and 1.5 million in 1Q12.  Even if sales hold steady at an average of 1.5 million per quarter (less next two, then higher at the next iPhone roll-out), they'll still take 2 1/2 more years to churn through their commitment.

 

"Bet the company," indeed.

 

I believe that the published agreement was for 30 million iPhones over 4 years.  If you do the math, that comes out to be about 1.9 million per quarter (16 quarters).  Not a very good start.  So far, they are 0 for 2.  You are right, the next 2 quarters will probably be even less....followed by a decent quarter with the LTE iPhone.  But then again, Sprint cannot compete with the big dogs (AT&T, Verizon) when it comes to LTE.  I'm not very optimistic on their chances.....thinking bankruptcy in a few years.

post #9 of 12

Is sprint gonna throttle unlimited users?  Or is its network so slow that it might as well be throttleing?

post #10 of 12

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

 

 

I believe that the published agreement was for 30 million iPhones over 4 years.  If you do the math, that comes out to be about 1.9 million per quarter (16 quarters).  Not a very good start.  So far, they are 0 for 2.  You are right, the next 2 quarters will probably be even less....followed by a decent quarter with the LTE iPhone.  But then again, Sprint cannot compete with the big dogs (AT&T, Verizon) when it comes to LTE.  I'm not very optimistic on their chances.....thinking bankruptcy in a few years.

 

I do not know about Sprint succeeding or not, but some of your premise is untrue. The agreement was that Sprint would commit to the iPhone to the tune of roughly 15.5 billion over four years. This, however, included phone purchases, marketing, and other miscellaneous expenses (e.g. perhaps a contribution to Apple support costs). We don't know the exact details, but for example, Sprint had to agree to spend a certain amount of dollars on advertising the iPhone. So all those iPhone specific Sprint commercials you might have seen lately are part of the 15.5 billion dollar commitment. Such commercials also cost a lot. 

 

So we have no way of knowing how successful the iPhone has been for Sprint yet. It seems to have stopped some of the bleeding. It will take more time to see how things are going. It is interesting to note that iPhone sales dropped by almost half on AT&T and Verizon from the holiday quarter. This is to be expected. However, on Sprint the drop was much smaller. 

post #11 of 12

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

the Sprint part of Sprint/Netxtel has actually seen subscriber growth if you separate the customer base between Nextel with IDEN and Sprint with CDMA. The Nextel merger was a huge mistake, no doubt about it. The only silver lining is the 800Mhz IDEN spectrum that Sprint will be able to repurpose for CDMA and then LTE later on. Sprint has already begun decommissioning about 1/3 of the IDEN towers with some that are in key areas with little or no native Sprint towers they will be used to fill that gap. Once IDEN is completely shut down for good Sprint will save a huge amount of money. This has been the key reason for losses for many years. The LTE rollout is actually going pretty well. For anyone interested in news, check out http://s4gru.com/ for news, maps, and lots more info. 

 

Nawww.  It's much more fun to pontificate out of your butt like most people do here than actually gather relevant info on a topic.....  

 

(seriously though, it's not gonna get me to go on Sprint, but interesting post.)

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post #12 of 12

Well, I don't know about you guys, but I'm getting an iPhone on Sprint.

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