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iPhone crushes carrier margins


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Here's an editorial that discusses how the iPhone subsidy is squeezing carrier margins. Also a mention of how many iPhone Sprint sold and where the subs came from.




The fourth quarter was the first sales period for the new iPhone 4S, and also represented the entry of Sprint Nextel into the iPhone game; Sprint joined larger rivals Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility in selling the device during the fourth quarter. According to Credit Suisse, carrier subsidies increased 40 percent as a result of the launch of the iPhone and other smartphones--driving carrier margins to their lowest levels in the past five years. But, according to the firm, "margins will improve in 1Q12 and there is the potential for improved trends later in the year if the carriers can hold the line on tighter upgrade policies." As Strategy Analytics analyst Philip Kendall noted, Sprint notched a solid quarter of iPhone activations (1.8 million), with 40 percent of Sprint's iPhone subscribers coming from other networks.

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