For all of you Sprint users out there that are dying to get an iPhone this may of interesting to you. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company placed a $20 billion order for iPhones from Apple. CNET reports more below:
(CNET) Sprint Nextel paid a hefty price to finally get its hands on Apple's iPhone--to the tune of $20 billion.
That's according to a Wall Street Journal report, which details the lengths in which Sprint went to secure Apple's blockbuster device. Boy Genius Report piles on by adding that Sprint's massive bet may have secured it the exclusive rights to the redesigned iPhone 5.
Sprint is willing to spend more than $20 billion for roughly 30 million iPhones over the next four years, WSJ reports.
Representatives from Apple and Sprint both declined to comment to CNET.
The investment underscores the critical importance of having the iPhone in a carrier's lineup; AT&T and Verizon Wireless are the only two U.S. carriers that currently sell the iPhone 4. It also an illustration of the kind of power Apple has over the carriers, allowing it to wrangle such a lucrative deal that locks Sprint up for next few years.
Sprint would look to the iPhone to turn its fortunes around. While the company has made steady improvement in its core Sprint business, it continues to lose customers on the Nextel side. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has said that the top reason customers leave is because of the iPhone.
While the iPhone would stabilize its customer base and bring in higher-revenue customers willing to sign long-term contracts, it would also lay a considerable financial blow to the company in the near term. Sprint is expected to pay a $500 subsidy per phone.
Sprint is expected to maintain its unlimited plan to set itself apart from AT&T and Verizon. The company believes the plan allows it to steal customers away from its larger rivals.
BGR reports that there will be two versions of the iPhone, the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5. The iPhone 4S is essentially the iPhone 4 with upgraded components and new software, including the ability to handle multiple wireless standards, a faster processor, support for near-field communication, and a metal or "premium" plastic back case. AT&T and Verizon Wireless would get the iPhone 4S.