Sprint CEO Says iPhone Extends Ability to Offer Unlimited Data
In an interview with Forbes following his company's earnings release, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse noted that the iPhone will actually enable the carrier to continue offering unlimited data plans for a longer period of time than it otherwise would have.
Sprint is still not saying when it may make that switch, but credits the iPhone for helping it push the date out further. “One of the beauties of carrying the iPhone is it extends the period of time and increases the likelihood of us maintaining unlimited data longer because it uses our network so efficiently,” said Hesse.
Hesse notes that the iPhone is better at picking up Wi-Fi signals than Android devices are, allowing users to spend more time connecting via Wi-Fi than placing demands on Sprint's cellular data network.
He also claims that Apple's tight control over iPhone apps and its requirement that those apps meet certain network efficiency standards helps Sprint's network operate more efficiently. According to Barron's, Sprint claims that the iPhone may offer 50% more network efficiency than Android handsets.
Finally, Hesse indicates that Sprint has made a $15.5 billion commitment to Apple for iPhones, targeting sales of six million units per year over the four-year term of the deal.
Sprint is the only U.S. carrier to offer unlimited data for the iPhone. Both AT&T and Verizon had offered unlimited data at the time of their respective iPhone launches, but both carriers have since migrated to tiered data plans designed to charge high-usage customers more.