You want proof that the iPhone brings in customers to carriers? Sprint sold 1.8 million iPhones in the fourth quarter of 2011, and 40% of those were to new subscribers. That’s 720,000 new customers who came on board with the iPhone. They also saw their highest ever number of new customers, 1.6 million — so 45% of their new customers were iPhone specific.
Unfortunately, all is not rosy in Sprint land. They suffered a net loss of $1.3 billion last quarter.
By comparison, AT&T activated 7.6 million iPhones that quarter, and Verizon 4.2 million. Even though Sprint managed to bring in a large number more customers than normal, it’s still struggling against the hugeness of the big two carriers.