Sprint is the only major carrier left that offers true, unthrottled, unlimited data. Sprint really believes in the iPhone. They’ve locked themselves into a four-year deal with Apple which will cost them $15.5 billion dollars to keep selling the iPhone.
Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson
Hesse confirmed Sprint signed a four-year deal with Apple to provide the iPhone and expects the iPhone to create between $7 billion and $8 billion in new value for the company. Hesse confirmed the additional value, and customer growth are why Sprint is willing to bear the brunt of the initial investment in the iPhone.
More here. There is no doubt that they took a huge investment leap of faith in offering it. Sprint now has several billion dollars invested in carrying the iPhone; they offer the iPhone 4 (8GB) and the iPhone 4S (16, 32, 64GB). They also offer unlimited data plans – the big decider in carrier consumers who recently bought the iPhone 4S. As we are well aware, Sprint is suffering data speed problems and they are working on it. Sprint CEO, Dan Hesse, believes that the iPhone will actually help Sprint keep the unlimited data plan around longer than if they hadn’t adopted the iPhone in the first place. Hesse explains that Apple’s apps and browsing methods are well optimized for speed and performance. Hesse points out that Apple’s iPhone is much better at picking up Wi-Fi signals than Android devices are. The reason why this helps Sprint is a given. Less data users means less traffic and less traffic means more efficient bandwidth. The more people that are using data on Sprint’s network, obviously the more they will have to try to cap people to keep them from overloading the network. Sprint has already capped the power-hogswho use Sprint’s network for tablets, mobile hotspots, and mobile broadband. So when a device is better at riding on the back of a Wi-Fi signal, then it will cause less strain on the Sprint network in the long run.
Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hesse
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.”
What he goes on to mean about this, is that the iPhone has a ton of mobile-optimized apps and Web Sites that load much more efficiently than that of Sprint’s Android phones which are much more power-hungry. Web designers sometimes create mobile versions of websites, however the meta data of many of those websites are specifically written for iPhones more often than for various other devices. This here-in-put makes sense because the iPhone is the single best-selling smartphone in the world. That doesn’t even take into account the number of iPads and iPod touches that also use those mobile Web Sites. But this kind of logic isn’t new. Windows, being the world’s most popular operating system, has more programs written for it than Mac does. So it only makes sense when Web designers take more time to design for the iPhone than other mobile devices. In addition to Web Sites, Hesse explains that the apps that app developers make for the iPhone are also well-optimized for mobile use. Sprint also explains how the app submission process that Apple has with the App Store helps to make sure that the applications are optimized to a certain standard. Many of the apps offer a very simple, low-GUI interface that isn’t overloaded with too many options or images. These apps can run quickly and efficiently. They require less juice from Sprint’s network to run than some of Android Market’s apps do. iOS apps are also designed to ping the network less than other operating systems. “It’s almost like a Prius,” Hesse says. A Prius is a fuel efficient vehicle. So the iPhone basically takes that stand on the network that the Prius does with gas. Ultimately conserving more data instead of using it all the time like an Android app might. The Android phone is like a gas-guzzling Hummer. For now, it looks like Sprint will be able to keep unlimited data in place for quite a while longer. However they depend on consumers to keep buying the iPhone for this to happen. In the mean time, many consumers are waiting to see if Sprint fixes their horrible 3G data speeds for the iPhone 4S. I know that if I’m going to pay more for data that I definitely want to see faster speeds than 0.01Mb/s down. Sources: Forbes  

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