Many of us were disappointed when we heard Apple was not going to release the iPhone 5 this year. Apple has decided to wait around and bring the device to the market in 2012. But the iPhone 4S has been quite a successful device too. Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon are all offering their own iPhone 4S units. From the look of it, it seems Verizon is the biggest winner this year.
Thanks to the new iPhone, Verizon is on its way to add about 1.2M postpaid subscribers in the fourth quarter. AT&T is a distant second with only 450K new subscribers in this quarter. Sprint is going to add only about 250K subscribers. Since Apple is making a lot of money from these handsets, the more these carriers sell the iPhone, the higher their upfront costs will be.
J.P. Morgan analyst Philip Cusick estimates subsidy for these carriers to be:
- Verizon: $350
- AT&T: $375
- Sprint: $400
Sprint is clearly getting a lot of attention for offering the latest iPhone. But the company has made a big investment to get its hand on this device. It needs more subscribers for its move to pay off over the long run:
We believe Sprint is seeing strong iPhone sales this quarter including a lot of upgrades and good mix of new customers … Sprint seems to be doing better against T-Mobile and marginally better vs. AT&T, but worse vs. Verizon since the launch of the iPhone. Sprint needs to gain to get to full-year positive and begin to justify its huge iPhone expense,
Philip Cusick explains. It does seem Sprint is the least attractive network for the iPhone. A study done by Apple Insider suggests that AT&T offers the fastest network for iPhone. Verizon offers the best coverage for the device. Where does that leave Sprint? Not in a good place.
Which iPhone carrier is the best in your opinion?