Sprint posted its fourth quarter earnings this morning, and they definitely painted a mixed picture of the company's financial position. On the one hand, the Alamo of unlimited data increased its subscriber base by 1.6 million in the last quarter, with big thanks likely owed to the addition of the iPhone to Sprint's lineup - giving them a significant advantage over their primary price point rival, T-Mobile.

Unfortunately, also because of the iPhone, the company managed a $1.3 billion net loss for the quarter, owed in large part to the massive cost of providing the device ($15.5 billion over 4 years) to customers at heavily subsidized price points. By contrast, in Q3, Sprint reported net losses of around only $300 million.

Still, Sprint's operating revenue rose around 5% year-over-year, and with the cost of supplying iPhones less likely to impact this quarter's results and the Sprint Galaxy Nexus (and an LTE network to go with it) on the way, who knows, they might even post a profit. Given the increasing unattractiveness of T-Mobile (no Galaxy Nexus, no iPhone, no LTE, metered data), Sprint is becoming the obvious choice for cheaper national coverage and data value for your dollar.

But with the relatively large flop that was WiMAX, Sprint's going to need to prove it's serious about LTE in the coming year in order to keep those customers. So, let's hope they do it right.


David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Ryan S

    Man I really hope they do LTE right and they have a great chance to "fix" the CDMA/LTE Galaxy Nexus since they wont be handicapping it like Verizon did.

    I was about to jump until I found out that Verizon spewed their bull all over the phone, now I am going to hold out. If Sprint doesnt screw it up I will stay since they appear to be deploying LTE in my market and the markets where my family lives (im hoping to stop traveling so much soon anyway).

    Otherwise I will get an international GSM one, go with AT&T and be ready to bail if we end up moving out of country.

  • Steve Arrants

    We've been with Sprint since late November, switching from Verizon. Our call quality is much better. LTE is a distant dream here. We're among the last places to get new services. Sill, I will say that Sprint is reliable here, the customer service so far has been very helpful. I do hope they stick around!

  • ABTBenjamins

    Sprint is Hiring in my town. Anyone with experience working for them? I feel like applying.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ISantop Ian

    If those new customers are all iPhones, then it doesn't matter what kind of job Sprint does on LTE; iPhones are all on 3G anyway.

  • [email protected]

    Sprint will tell you anything to get a new contract to make its bottomline look good for the Japanese buyout. Even lie. We agreed to move three phones to an individual account with the promise that we could have up to five. When we wanted to add # 4, we were told that we had to add a new account at $100 per month rather than add it to the existing account for $30.00. Sayonara Sprint!