Sprint has announced their Q4 2012 financial results, and along with net operating revenue of $35.3 billion, including $21.7 billion from wireless, with an annual operating loss of 1.8 billion. Sprint sold 2.2 million iPhones, 38% of which went to new customers. No Q4 smartphone total was given, but Sprint also reported their 2012 full year results, which included approximately 20 million smartphones sold, more than 6.6 million of which were iPhones, 40% of which went to new customers. No iPad numbers were broken out. According to Sprint CEO Dan Hesse:
Sprint?s strong performance was fueled by record wireless service revenue on the Sprint platform due to year-over-year postpaid ARPU growth and Sprint platform net additions. As a result, quarterly Adjusted OIBDA* performance improved year-over-year in spite of significant cost increases related to Network Vision and the iPhone, both of which are key investments for our business that we expect will improve the customer experience and lead to growth in the years ahead.
Once again, the story this year is pretty much the same as last year. After failing to retain, much less grow, their customer base with a series of non-Apple hero phones, they had to pay through the nose to get the iPhone on their network. And, after a similar failure with WiMax, they're now spending a fortune to roll out LTE.
Both were costly, and both will take years to recover from, but not having an LTE iPhone 5 on their network would likely have been far, far worse.
It'll be interesting to see what happens when and if T-Mobile, the last major non-iPhone, non-LTE carrier in the U.S. starts getting up to speed.