Sprint Activates 1.8M iPhones, 40% are New Customers

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Sprint activated 1.8 million iPhones during its fourth fiscal quarter or 2011, and some 40 percent of those activations were for new customers.

Sprint sells 1.8 million iPhones in Q4“Our strong fourth quarter performance illustrates the power of matching iconic devices like the iPhone with our simple, unlimited plans and industry-leading customer experience,” commented Sprint CEO Dan Hesse.

Sprint became the third U.S. iPhone carrier in October 2011 along with the launch of the iPhone 4S. The company used the offer of unlimited wireless data plans to help lure new customers into signing contracts, although it added data caps to its mobile hotspot offerings.

Despite the success Sprint has had with the iPhone, the company still showed a US$1.3 billion loss for the quarter. Those losses were linked in part to the cost of subsidizing iPhone sales.

The carrier added some 1.6 million new customers during the quarter, bringing its total subscriber base up to 55 million.

Sprint’s iPhone subscriber numbers, however, are still lagging behind AT&T and Verizon. AT&T reported selling 7.6 million iPhones in its last quarter, and Verizon sold 4.3 million iPhones.



1.8 million - not a bad start for the Sprint Unicorn!! And, if there were 1.6 million new customers, and if 40% of 1.8 million iPhones were new customers for Sprint, then 45% of the new activations were iPhones.  Not sure how far into the quarter it was before new Sprint customers could order an iPhone, but if it wasn’t right from the start then 45% of new activations being iPhones is on the low side.

So, nearly 1 in 2 people switching to Sprint went with iPhones. Nice.  And I thought Apple was heading toward 10% market share…

Ross Edwards

A friend of mine went from EVO to iPhone on Sprint on release day, and he has been very happy with it, and hasn’t encountered the slow speed issue.  In all fairness, his area had fairly poor WiMax connectivity for his EVO, so it’s not like he was expecting downtown-Phoenix-level LTE or HSPA.  He could hardly be happier, and that’s a customer retained that was going to bail to Verizon if Sprint did not offer the iPhone 4S.  For all that was made of Sprint’s “bet the company” investment into Apple, I’m not so sure it was a bad move.

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