AT&T and Verizon shared their third quarter 2013 results earlier this month, and this morning it's Sprint's turn to spill its numbers. The Now Network this morning reported its Q3 2013 earnings, announcing that it lost 360,000 postpaid customers during the three-month period. However, it did gain 84,000 prepaid customers and 181,000 wholesale and affiliate customers. At the end of the quarter, Sprint was serving a total of 54.9 million subscribers, including 30.9 million postpaid users, 16 million prepaid customers and 8 million wholesale and affiliate subscribers.
The third quarter of 2013 was a big smartphone quarter for Sprint. The carrier reports that it sold nearly 5 million smartphones during Q3 2013, which it says is a record, and that its postpaid handset sales included a record 92 percent of smartphones. Sprint also says that it sold nearly 1.4 million iPhones in the quarter, 40 percent of which went to new subscribers.
Meanwhile, Sprint continues to beef up its network, turning on 4G LTE service in 45 new markets to reach a total of 230 LTE cities. Sprint says that it plans to cover 200 million people with LTE service by the end of 2013.
Finally, Sprint announced this morning that incurred an operating loss of $383 million during the third quarter. It also managed a net income of $383 million, though, thanks in part to $1.4 billion gain from a previous investment that it had in Clearwire. To compare, Sprint's Q3 2012 earnings included an operating loss of $231 million and a net loss of $737 million.
It sounds like Sprint's third quarter was a bit of a mixed bag. While the big yellow carrier managed to move a record number of smartphones, it lost over a quarter of a million postpaid subscribers during the three-month period and also took an operating loss hit that was greater than the one in the year-ago quarter. Sprint did have some good network news to offset its customer losses as well, though, thanks to its recent LTE expansion and the news that its Nextel network shutdown is already resulting in "significant cost savings."
Sprint is now holding a conference call to discuss its third quarter 2013 earnings. Stay tuned and I'll update you with any major announcements or news that the carrier may have to share.