Sprint’s Q1 2013 financial results came out this morning, and the news wasn’t great overall. Losses continue to accumulate, and total smartphone sales aren’t faring very well, either, with just 5 million units sold in total. The iPhone, after achieving a record high of 2.2 million handsets sold on Sprint’s network last quarter, dropped back down to 1.5 million, the same number Sprint saw in the three quarters preceding Q4 2012.
This is the first time Sprint has reported specific total smartphone sales in an earnings release, and it said it achieved 5 million handset sales in total. that means that the iPhone accounted for 30 percent of total device sales at the carrier. iPhone sales for all of 2012 totaled 6.6 million, on total smartphone sales for the year of 20 million, which means Apple’s devices accounted for just about one-third of the total. That puts this quarter pretty close to on pace, but compared to the rest of the field, iPhone growth was flat at Sprint.
Horace Dediu of Asymco notes that iPhone sales grew 25 percent at Verizon, and by around 12 percent at AT&T. Worldwide, the pace was a 7 percent increase, with 14 percent improvement at home. It might be tempting to put some of the blame for Sprint’s flagging fortunes on a big bet on iPhone, but the numbers indicate the carrier isn’t being hurt so much by flagging iPhone sales, but by a general inability to match its competitors, in terms of device sales aside.
Sprint is still quick to note that the iPhone is driving new customers to its business, pointing out that the rate of new subscribers signing up via iPhone purchases is once again at over 40 percent, the same as over the past several quarters. The iPhone has been consistent for it, but the company was likely hoping it would be more of a breakout hit.