As of this month, Sprint Nextel Corp. has become the third carrier in the U.S. to carry the iPhone. The newly released iPhone 4S has been selling out across the country, including Sprint retail locations, despite the company committing to buy 30.5 million iPhones over the next four years. “Sprint today reported its best ever day of sales in retail, web and telesales for a device family in Sprint history with the launch of iPhone 4S and iPhone 4,” said Sprint product chief Fared Adib, in a statement on October 14.
That’s great news for the company that has lost 264,000 contracts in the last year. They took a big gamble on this deal with Apple but Sprint Chief Executive Dan Hesse said that the lack of the iPhone is “the number one reason customers leave or switch.” Sprint placed last at the end of the second quarter with 52 million subscribers versus Verizon and AT&T, which had 106 million and 99 million respectively.
Now, consumers have some choices and Sprint may actually have an advantage in this respect. Customers rate Sprint service well and it was ranked even with Verizon’s in consumer reports while AT&T ranked last. No surprise there.
Also, Sprint offers unlimited data plans for its new phone buyers a big incentive for people to switch. Adib said, “The response to this device by current and new customers has surpassed our expectations and validates our customers’ desire for a truly unlimited data pricing plan.” So although Sprint does not expect to turn a profit on this gamble until 2014, it looks like it may have been worth it.
I know I’ll be considering it when my contract comes up.
photo credit: Mark Hillary