Sprint Q3 iPhone Activations: 1.5 Million

Sprint announced its third fiscal quarter for 2012 on Thursday ahead of Apple's earnings report, and the cell service provider said it activated 1.5 million iPhones during the quarter. Some 40 percent of those activations were new customers, showing the iPhone is a big draw for the company.

Sprint sold 1.3 iPhones during its third fiscal quarterWhile 1.5 million is a significant number of iPhones, it still falls short of AT&T's 4.7 million and Verizon's 3.1 million activations for Apple's smartphone. The company didn't say how many of its customers bought the iPhone 5.

Sprint said its post-paid growth was up 5 percent year over year, but the company still reported a US$767 million net loss. The carrier is hoping, however, that its recently announced buyout by Japan cell service company Softbank will help improve its numbers.

Softbank is buying a majority stake in Sprint in a $20.1 billion deal. "Following closing, SoftBank will own approximately 70 percent and Sprint equity holders will own approximately 30 percent of the shares of New Sprint on a fully-diluted basis," Sprint executives said earlier in October.

The deal will help Sprint expand its LTE network quicker, which in turn could help draw in new customers and ultimately drive up competition with AT&T and Verizon.

Sprint said it had 56 million customers at the end of the quarter, 410,000 of which were new.

With Sprint's numbers in we now know Apple sold 9.3 million iPhones in the U.S. during the quarter, not including regional carriers. Apple will share its total world-wide iPhone sales numbers for the quarter later today after the stock market closes. Be sure to check in with The Mac Observer for our coverage of Apple's announcements.