It’s been a bumpy ride for Sprint so far in 2012, as the Kansas-based cell phone provider not only had to endure its LightSquared LTE deal go down the tubes, but have its own board vote against a MetroPCS acquisition. Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse has been on the hot seat lately had he found himself defending the company’s decision to put all its eggs in Apple’s basket with its $15.5 billion bet on the iPhone.
In an interview with the GSMA’s Mobile World Live blog, Hesse explained The Now Network’s move to get the iPhone.
“Subsidies are heavy for the iPhone. This is the reason why a high percentage of new customers is important,” Hesse said during the interview. “But iPhone customers have a lower level of churn and they actually use less data on average than a high-end 4G Android device. So from a cost point of view and a customer lifetime value perspective. They’re more profitable than the average smartphone customer.”
The Sprint boss also went on to say how the company is slowly grabbing iPhone subscribers away from AT&T and Verizon. “Four out of every 10 iPhones we sold [in the fourth quarter] are for new customers. That’s roughly double the rate of either of our competitors, so we’re pulling a lot of customers from our competitors.”
Regardless to what Dan Hesse says, Sprint is barely treading water at this point, and with LTE 4G technology moving fast into the market it will only get harder for the third largest wireless provider in the United States. That being said, I still think Dan Hesse is the right guy for the job and people seriously need to give the dude a break.
He wasn’t the man who orchestrated that horrible Nextel acquisition that almost sank the company, but he is the guy who has stopped the hemorrhaging of tens and thousands of subscribers. Furthermore, he got the iPhone on the carrier by any means necessary (albeit, he bet the farm). For that he deserves a little credit.