Sprint CEO says iPhone users more profitable than Android

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse defends iPhone strategy

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.

[via bgr]



  • Marin

    To be fair though, Hesse was at the top during the whole Clearwire debacle and betting big on WiMax was a colossal failure. One that’s worth him being kicked out. 

    • Anonymous

      I agree.  I think they are playing to coy with getting rid of iDen. Having all these competing technologies…not building out their network….the list goes on.  I think sprint shot themselves in the foot with the premium data fee and doubling the upgrade fee.  Unlimited data is great, but when its slow there is no point.  I like hedging my bets on the underdog, but I think Sprint dug itself back in a hole.

    • Marin, Hesse was dealt a crap hand from the jump, so he had to take crazy risk to make Sprint relevant again — and to that extent he succeeded. Given the state of the company when he took over, I don’t think anyone would have done any better than he has in the last few years. That being said, if he could pull off a miracle with the whole 4G “Network Vision,” Hesse will be the company savior. If that doesn’t work, look for a Sprint/T-Mo merger to go down — book it!

      • Marin

        I refuse to believe that the 4G WiMax push really moved the needle for Sprint, as it fell further and further behind in subscriber count, particularly once Altel was bought. A more thought-out network expansion earlier could mean that Sprint would have that Network Vision now. They did do a solid job on spectrum though. 

  • hater on the rocks

    i gotta say u cant blame android itself being what it is yeah it may have a high volume of churn to iphone and yes it uses a lot of data but come on its using the lastest thing not like the iphone they use the same thing over and over. I blame the cellphone maker their the one that make up the software and design everything inside of it and out i think that’s the cause of all android users to switch to ios. but that’s why nexus phone is the best android phone because google itself controls the software not other cellphone manufacture. just like apple and the iphone it only needs to deal with one product and software. only my opinion

  • If sprint makes it to LTE in the major cities in the US it will be pure luck at the rate there loosening money they wont even make it to 2 LTE markets. Like i have said before if not for all the deals with MVNO’s sprint would have died long ago. 

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