Sprint's Q1 2013 brings smartphone sales of 5 million units, highest-ever total subscriber baseAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Time to wake up with Dan Hesse and a hearty bowl of quarterly earnings. Sprint just announced its Q1 2013 results, revealing that it moved a total of 5 million smartphones during the three-month period. As if that weren't enough evidence that smartphone sales were big for Sprint in Q1, the big yellow carrier says that 86 percent of its quarterly postpaid handset sales were smartphones. Sprint also revealed that iPhone sales exceeded 1.5 million units for the quarter, with 43 percent of that total being sold to new customers.
On the subscriber side of things, Q1 2013 helped Sprint to grow to a total of 53.9 million customers on the Sprint platform, which the carrier says is its highest-ever level. That number includes 30.2 million postpaid users, 16 million prepaid subscribers and around 7.9 million wholesale and affiliate customers. Sprint's Q1 2013 brought with it 12,000 net postpaid subscribers, 568,000 prepaid customers and a net loss of 224,000 wholesale and affiliate subscribers.
When factoring Nextel into the equation, Sprint was hit with 560,000 total retail postpaid net losses and 369,000 retail prepaid net additions, finishing the quarter with a overall subscriber loss of 415,000. That means that the total number of subscribers on Sprint and Nextel at the end of Q1 2013 finished at 55.211 million.
Sprint says that its consolidated net service revenues for the quarter were flat year-over-year, finishing at nearly $8 billion. The carrier's operating income ending the quarter at $29 million, which is an increase from the $255 million operating loss that it incurred in the year-ago quarter. Overall, Sprint says that it ended Q1 2013 with a net loss of $643 million, which is an improvement from the $863 million net loss that it saw in Q1 2012.
It looks like Sprint had itself some ups and some downs in Q1 2013. The carrier managed to hit its highest-ever level of subscribers on the Sprint platform and also managed to move a decent number of smartphones, but it still incurred a net loss in both cash and total subscribers. One factor that played into the subscriber loss is the Nextel platform, which is unsurprisingly bleeding users because Sprint is shutting down the iDEN towers that power that platform. Sprint does note that not all of its Nextel users are ditching Big Yellow completely, as it managed to recapture 264,000 postpaid users and 67,000 prepaid customers from Nextel.
Sprint is slated to hold a conference call to discuss its earnings at 7 a.m. ET. As usual, we'll be joining in on the fun with a cup of coffee and a hunger for some more hard wireless numbers. If Hesse and Co. have anything interesting to say during the call, you can bet that we'll share it with you.