The Wall Street Journal reports the Sprint is preparing to "bet the company" on the iPhone, agreeing to purchase 30.5 million units over the next four years regardless of whether they are purchased by customers or not. At a current average selling price of $655 for the iPhone, the agreement is a nearly $20 billion commitment for Sprint.
Mr. Hesse told the board the carrier would have to agree to purchase at least 30.5 million iPhones over the next four years—a commitment of $20 billion at current rates—whether or not it could find people to buy them, according to people familiar with the matter. In order to keep the price people pay for the phone low and competitive with rivals, Sprint would be subsidizing the cost of each phone to the tune of about $500, which would take a long time to recoup even at the high monthly fees iPhone users pay.
With a source calling the projected hit to Sprint's operating income "staggering", the company's directors agreed to the deal as an all-in gamble to give Sprint hopes of competing against AT&T and Verizon.
The report notes that such commitments aren't unusual for Apple's carrier partners, demonstrating the leverage Apple has gained with the iPhone. With multi-year deals carrying unusual provisions for increasing units over time, Apple is locking in carriers for the long haul in much the same way that it has sought to lock in component suppliers for its hardware.
In the wake of the new report on Sprint's massive iPhone commitment, BGR separately reports that this development may lend weight to a claim it had heard that had previously seemed outrageous – that the iPhone 5 does indeed exist and that it will launch as a 4G WiMAX device as a Sprint exclusive.
I have been told that Sprint will be getting the iPhone 5 — yes the real iPhone 5, not the iPhone 4S — as an exclusive. And it will be a WiMAX device. AT&T and Verizon would launch the iPhone 4S and get the iPhone 5 sometime in the first quarter of next year as an LTE device. Globally, the iPhone 5 might be available as a 4G HSPA+ device.
The claim reportedly comes from an "incredibly solid" industry contact and is one which has seemed simply unbelievable. But with Sprint clearly betting the future of the company on the iPhone, it is at least possible that it may have gone to extreme lengths to make a staggering entrance to the iPhone market.
BGR's rumor record has been spotty over time, and it's hard to imagine Apple making this move. Still, we mention it for interest and discussion in the lead-up to tomorrow's media event.
Apple changed the strategy for iOS 17 later in its development process to add several new features, suggesting that the update may be more significant than previously thought, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports.
In January, Gurman said that iOS 17 could be a less significant update than iPhone updates in previous years due to the company's intense focus on its long-awaited mixed-reality...
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Below, we have recapped eight new features and...
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Apple showcased its mixed-reality headset to the company's top 100 executives in the Steve Jobs Theater last week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.
In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that the "momentous gathering" is a "key milestone" ahead of the headset's public announcement planned for June. The event was intended to rally Apple's top members of...
We're still almost six months away from the official unveiling of the iPhone 15 lineup, but it seems like every day we're learning more about what to expect from the next-generation models. Notably, this week gave us our clearest look yet at what appear to be some changes for the volume and mute control hardware.
iOS 16.4 and associated releases are also right around the corner with some new ...
Apple today released tvOS 16.4, the fourth major point update to the tvOS 16 operating system that came out last September. Available for the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, tvOS 16.4 comes two months following the release of tvOS 16.3.
The tvOS 16.4 update can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System > Software Update....
Apple on March 27 released iOS 16.4, delivering 21 new emoji characters, support for Safari web push notifications, the return of the page-turning animation in the Books app, updates for the Podcasts app, and more.
Top Rated Comments
1. WSJ: Sprint committing $20 billion to Apple
2. BGR: Sprint as an iPhone 5 exclusive
They are separate sources, and honestly, of separate believability. But tied together in reasoning. Sprint is supposedly paying this $20 billion to get exclusivity.
Sprint carrying the iPhone starting Oct. 4th makes more sense.