An iPhone 4 with a Sprint logo

Sprint announced their first quarter results today, seeing an operating loss of $255 million, and a net loss of $863 million, but enjoyed 1.5 million iPhone sales, 44% of which were new customers. Last quarter, Sprint sold 1.8 million iPhones with a similar proportion of new additions. Seeing as Sprint added a net of 1 million new subscribers total in Q1 2012, 44% is a pretty significant portion. By comparison, AT&T enjoyed 4.3 million iPhone sales, while Verizon sold 3.2 million. That brings U.S. iPhone sales for the first quarter of 2012 to roughly 9 million. Here are Sprint's financial highlights.

  • Best ever Sprint platform postpaid ARPU increase of $4.03, or 6.9 percent, year-over-year drives Sprint platform wireless service revenue growth of 16 percent year-over-year
  • Operating loss of $255 million; Adjusted OIBDA* of $1.2 billion, which includes $104 million in Network Vision related operating expense
  • 263,000 postpaid net additions on the Sprint platform in the quarter – eighth consecutive quarter of postpaid subscriber growth on the Sprint platform
  • Total company net additions of more than 1 million for the sixth consecutive quarter
  • Strong iPhone sales of more than 1.5 million – 44 percent to new customers
  • Network Vision deployment continues on track
    • Continue to expect six major cities to launch 4G LTE by mid-year
    • Continue to expect 12,000 sites on air by end of 2012
    • To date work has begun on 25 percent of planned 2012 sites; 5 percent are on air
    • Nearly 1,300 iDEN sites taken off air to date; expect 9,600 total by the end of the third quarter

Sprint says that despite the customers the iPhone is bringing in, hardware subsidies are hitting them hard.

Sales expenses increased year-over-year primarily due to iPhone point-of- sale discounts (subsidy) for devices directly sold by the manufacturer to indirect dealers in which Sprint does not take device title, as well as higher postpaid gross additions. The impact from the iPhone was partially offset by improvements in sales channel mix with a larger portion of activations coming from direct retail channels.

Even though this quarter's loss was steeper than the $439 million Sprint lost in the first quarter of last year, it's not as bad as many analysts expected. Sprint launching their 4G network will be interesting, and set the stage for their support of an LTE-enabled iPhone 5 in the fall, assuming of course that they'll be able to afford it.

Any Sprint iPhone customers in the house? Is the unlimited data keeping you happy, or are you thinking of switching?

Source: Sprint