Just a few weeks ago, AT&T reported that over 80% of the smartphones they sold last quarter were Apple’s iPhone. In addition, Verizon revealed that the iPhone represented 55% of Verizon’s last quarter smartphone sales. Today, Sprint had its earnings call for the fourth quarter of 2011. During the call, the carrier disclosed that it sold a total of 1.8 million iPhones during the quarter.
Even though the number reported is much lesser than AT&T and Verizon, Sprint’s iPhone helped achieve a new record high subscriber base of 55 million customers. See, every carrier needs the iPhone. It helps them grow! In fact, when was the last time you heard an Android phone ever do the same for a carrier? It should also be noted that 40% of Sprint’s iPhone purchasers were new to the carrier. I wonder if this is because of the unlimited data they are offering? AT&T and Verizon don’t offer an unlimited data plan for the iPhone anymore.
The carrier also reported that their earnings margins are being eroded by the upfront subsidies the carrier paid to Apple for the devices. Sprint’s total subsidy payments increased roughly 40% year-over-year and sequentially, reached $1.7 billion.
You know what’s interesting? Carriers will reveal the number of iPhones sold in a quarter, but won’t reveal the same for Android phones. I wonder why…