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Sprint CEO: our 'answer is the iPhone'

updated 10:30 am EDT, Fri October 7, 2011

Sprint makes iPhone centerpiece of strategy event

Sprint during its Strategy Update event in New York City on Friday made clear that the iPhone was the core of its device strategy for the future. Reiterating that the lack of an iPhone was the top reason customers left the carrier, CEO Dan Hesse saw it as the cure to a lack of brand recognition and high churn, or customer turnover. He revealed that Sprint had gone so far as to time the event around the iPhone 4S launch so that it could discuss the importance.

"How do we take both [brand and churn] to the next level? The answer is the iPhone," Hesse said. "You want to be associated with great brands, and Apple is the best brand in the tech space."

He was aware that Apple called for steeper subsidies than some but still anticipated that it would be "one of our most profitable" devices in the future. Senior Network VP Bob Azzi added that Sprint had "built into all our processes" the likely load from an iPhone and has been doing so for months.

CDMA voice was being moved to 800MHz to give better voice connections, most of all indoors, as well as to improve data, Sprint said. Networks were being updated in groups to maximize the perceived effect. Many of its weak points in an urbanized area like New York City will be eliminated altogether.

The statements don't directly confirm rumors but support a major leak that Sprint may have bet its future on Apple. Although it will still have Android devices to lean on, the carrier is counting on becoming a better if not best choice through its keeping unlimited data and improving its network reputation. Its planned move to LTE for 4G will also future-proof it against a commonly assumed jump to LTE on the iPhone for as soon as 2012.

By Electronista Staff


  1. burger

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2000


    4s vs 5

    Not saying the 4s isn't a great phone or that the demand will be low, but I'm guessing the line to sign up for a Sprint plan would have been significantly longer had they been able open with the next version of case design. Regardless, I'm sure the iPhone 4s will go a long way to help Sprint bring on new, and happy, customers. In turn, keeping their customer base more loyal out of sheer brand association. Not to mention existing customers switching to the new hardware, and not having to shop elsewhere to attain it.

  1. macmediausa

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    comment title

    Stinks that whoever bought any android phones through sprint aren't eligible for the reduced pricing for the Iphone.....I bought an HTC evo on release day over a year ago just to tie me over in waiting for an iphone. Now without a clear upgrade path for another year, I may have to jump ship just to be able to get an iphone for a lower price.... Going onto Sprint's website shows all my June 2010 android phones having a $750 upgrade cost when going to the iphone!

  1. mkral

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2000



    Long time sprint customer who just ordered my iPhone today.If they did not get the iphone, I was over to verizon in Feb (at the end of my contract). Happy with sprint overall, but would not have stayed if they didn't get the iPhone (No AT&T coverage at our house, so had to wait until Verizon or sprint got it to jump).

    I think, in the long run, this will be a huge net plus for Sprint. Idoubt many people will move to Sprint for the iPhone (although some might for the unlimited data) but it does keep people like myself from leaving.

  1. OtisWild

    Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 2005


    Virgin Mobile

    If I could get one unsubsidized for Virgin Mobile that I could carry my current no-contract setup over to, I'd do it in a second.

  1. King Bob On The Cob

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Apr 2002


    I am considering moving back from AT&T

    AT&T's coverage in the heartland sucks. At least when I travel, Sprint has 3G on most Interstates now (Unlike AT&T) *grumble* I am not willing to move to Verizon

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Truer words were never spoken

    Mr. Hesse: "...Apple is the best brand in the tech space."


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