Sales of Apple’s iPhone slowed at Sprint in Q1 2013, as the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier lost over a half million subscribers in the period, yet still posted returns beating most Wall Street estimates.
Even with the loss of 560,000 subscribers from January through March, Sprint’s losses in the quarter narrowed and the carrier lost $643 million, whereas it lost $863 million in the same quarter last year. At the end of the quarter, Sprint had 31.3 million customers on contract paying an average of $61.47 per month.
The iPhone did continue to bring in new customers, with 43 percent of all iPhone customers being new to the carrier. The figure was 38 percent in the holiday quarter.
Sprint’s 1.5 million iPhones sold made up 30 percent of the five million total smartphones sold, down from the 2.2 million, and 50 percent of smartphone sales in the preceding quarter.
Sprint made a considerable investment in order to offer the iPhone on its network, committing $15.5 billion over four years to subsidize the price of the handsets. While the expenditure continues to impact Sprint’s bottom line, the carrier expects to eventually make up for it via subscriber revenue.