Despite Sprint’s loss of 560,000 customers during the January through March quarter, the carrier still managed to sell over 1.5 million iPhones. The carrier lost a total of $643 million this year. During the same quarter last year, the company lost $863 million.

sprint logo

By the end of the quarter, Sprint had 31.3 million customers with contracts averaging $61.47 a month. They brought in a substantial new amount of customers thanks to the iPhone. The company reports 43 percent of the customers are new to the carrier whereas 38 percent were new during the holiday quarter. During the previous quarter, there were 2.2 million iPhone units sold, which accounted for over fifty percent of the company’s smartphone sales. Just this past quarter, the carrier’s 1.5 million iPhone sales comprise up to thirty percent of the five million total units sold.

There is little doubt that the iPhone was a major investment for Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S). The carrier spent $15.5 billion over four years to subsidize the cost of the actual phones, which began selling in 2011. Now the carrier has to make up in revenue what they spent in order to sustain a profit. Fortunately, Sprint’s shares tripled in the last ten months. It’s also in the midst of a bidding war. Softbank (from Japan) bid $20 billion for Sprint, and they also want a 70 percent stake in the company. Dish Network also offered a $25.5 billion merger deal which would likely bundle voice with wireless internet and television.

It may be in Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)’s best interest to merge with another company like Dish Network simply because it would boost their profits and give them an edge in competition. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Verizon have a variety of internet and television services in addition to phone service, so it would be in their best interest to beef up their offerings. Sprint could become a greater company if they plan accordingly. Hopefully, the iPhone will continue to boost Sprint’s profits.