updated 09:15 am EDT, Wed July 28, 2010
Sprint owes spring 2010 to HTC Evo 4G sales
Sprint today achieved a rare milestone today by posting its first net gain of subscribers in three years thanks to Android. Runaway Evo 4G sales helped it add 110,000 total customers after years of a shrinking user base. The flagship further helped Sprint reach its lowest ever customer subscriber turnover rate of 1.85 percent and stopped many months of losses of CDMA customers jumping ship for other carriers or prepaid phones.
The BlackBerry Curve 8530 also helped keep customers onboard, Sprint said.
Sprint nonetheless faced ongoing problems as its revenues dropped slightly and its net loss doubled to $760 million. Most of its hopes are pinned now on continued strong sales of the Evo 4G and on the upcoming launch of the Samsung Epic 4G as its second Android-based WiMAX smartphone. The handset is closely related to the Captivate, Fascinate and Vibrant at AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, but Sprint is hoping the addition of 4G and a hardware keyboard are selling points.
The turnaround is a potential credit to Android, which has grown rapidly in the US in the past year. Sprint may face significant problems this quarter, however, as the launch of the iPhone 4 and the Motorola Droid X could see customers leave. Historically, every iPhone launch in the US has seen roughly a third of customers defecting from another carrier, and the record sales rate could inflict more damage on Sprint's customer base.