Thanks in large part to the success of the Android-powered HTC EVO 4G superphone, Sprint was able to add 111,000 net customers for the second quarter of 2010. This could be considered a tipping point for the third-largest carrier because this is the first net addition of subscribers in three years!
Sprint has been bleeding subscribers over the last few years for a few reasons. First and foremost is the Apple iPhone on AT&T, as many customers fled Sprint to use Apple’s smartphone. The carrier tried to rely on devices like the Palm Pre to hold on to customers but that was a clear failure. The Sprint HTC EVO 4G helped change all that.
The HTC EVO 4G may help turn the tide, as the Android superphone could credibly be called the best, or one of the best smartphones on the market. The EVO 4G has been delighting users for a few months now and it can still be difficult to find in stores. The big-screened smartphone might not have been responsible for single-handedly giving Sprint net subscriber growth for Q2, but it certainly did its part.
Still, It’s not all roses for Sprint, as the company reported a loss of $760 million for the quarter and its net subscriber addition this quarter came from a growth in the prepaid market from Sprint subsidiaries like Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. The company lost 228,000 contract customers in the second quarter and this now gives Sprint 48.2 million total subscribers. There’s no doubt the EVO helped keep those contract subscriber losses to a minimum.
Sprint was also notorious for poor customer service but that appears to be changing as the company has topped multiple customer satisfaction surveys. This could be a reason why it reported its best-ever contract churn rate of 1.85%.
The third-largest carrier is not out of the woods yet, as AT&T and Verizon still have much larger subscriber bases and both are making tons of money each quarter. But the strength of the Android-powered HTC EVO 4G and the symbolic nature of its first net addition in years should help it build momentum. It will be fun to watch, friends.