Sprint Posts $767M Loss, but iPhone Sales Adding Customers
Sprint lost $767 million during its 2012 third quarter, sold 1.5 million iPhones—40 percent of them to new customers—and saw the first of coming billions from Softbank.Sprint had a busy fiscal 2012 third quarter that included negotiating to sell 70 percent of its business to Japanese carrier Softbank for $20.1 billion, negotiating with Apple to offer its first iPads and keeping to the timetable of its Network Vision strategy, which includes rolling out Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G technology, closing down its Nextel network and trying to convert those Nextel users into Sprint 4G customers. On Oct. 25, Sprint announced during its third-quarter report that it had added 19,000 prepaid customers and 410,000 postpaid customers and brought in revenue of $7.3 billion but ultimately lost $767 million. It also sold 1.5 million iPhones during the quarter, 40 percent of which went to new customers. (By contrast, AT&T announced the day before that it had sold 4.7 million iPhones during its third quarter, though only 18 percent had gone to new customers.) And even before the Sept. 21 launch of the iPhone 5, Sprint sold its 1 millionth LTE smartphone. "The Sprint platform performed well, with strong net subscriber additions, record third-quarter postpaid and prepaid churn and robust revenue growth ... even as we continue to invest in Network Vision and position the company for future growth," CEO Dan Hesse said in a statement.
Sprint's LTE network is now live in 32 cities, though executives acknowledged that, while they have put intense pressure on partners to keep to schedule, there have been some timing setbacks, some due to storms. Still, while in September Sprint promised to bring LTE to 100 markets by the end of the year, in its Oct. 25 statement, it said it expects its LTE network to be in 115 new cities, in addition to the current 32, "in the coming months."