Sprint sells 2.2 million iPhones, still loses money

Third-place wireless carrier Sprint has just released its financial report for Q4 2012. Compared to Q3’s net loss of $767 million, the carrier slumped further to a $1.32 billion loss. The carrier attributes some of the loss ($400 million) to its Network Vision buildout and the shut down of its legacy Nextel network, as well as $45 million lost to the effects of Hurricane Sandy in the New York Metro area. In relation to AT&T and Verizon, both of which had banner quarters for smartphone, and more specifically, iPhone sales, Sprint sold 2.2 million iPhones — its highest quarterly iPhone sales figure ever — and 6.1 million total smartphones.

Even though Sprint lost quite a bit of money, it’s a slightly smaller loss than Wall Street analysts suspected, so Sprint’s stock rose on the news.

  • jawbroken

    They likely didn’t really lose money, they just pay for phone subsidies upfront and make it back over the life of the contract. It’s just a quirk of how they account for the value of the contract. This is why all wireless carriers have looked like they were losing money or doing generally badly as high cost smartphone sales have increased. Smartphones have greatly increased average revenue per user and the financial results will better reflect reality at some point in the future when the conversion from feature phones to smartphones flattens out (also taking into account the investment they have had to do in wireless data infrastructure).

  • They are hemorrhaging customers because of Nextel, but once they finish swallowing that pill they should be on decent ground