Sprint Nextel has announced its earnings for Q3. The wireless carrier announced small (2%) operating revenue growth to $8.3 billion and less net loss when compared with last year.

The iPhone recently launched on Sprint’s network, and Apple’s handset is admittedly a huge factor for the carrier’s success. Sprint’s wireless customer base had reached a five year high and iPhone owners are considered to be the carrier’s most profitable customers.

Sprint has also said that the iPhone has resulted in the carrier’s best day ever in retail sales:

“The launch of this iconic device resulted in Sprint’s best ever day of sales in retail, web and telesales for a device family in Sprint history. The response to this device by current and new customers has surpassed initial expectations. The iPhone is expected to be accretive for Sprint, and iPhone users are expected to be among Sprint’s most profitable customers.”

Although Sprint’s customer base is growing overall, the carrier saw a slight decrease in new customers in Q3. This is attributed to “customer expectations of a fourth quarter iPhone launch.”

Sprint now offers the iPhone 4S and 8GB iPhone 4 on its CDMA network. Although customers have been complaining about slow data speeds on the Sprint iPhone, the carrier has still sold out of initial iPhone stock and is estimating 1-2 weeks for shipping orders to customers.

Do you think that the iPhone is enough to keep Sprint relevant? Unlimited data does make Sprint an attractive option for new customers, but it’s obvious that all-you-can-eat data won’t be around for long. What will Sprint need to do next to stay above water?

  • Once they stop the unlimited data plans Sprint won’t get as many customers. I’m sure they will get rid of it, because they don’t like to stay in business.

    • eric

      Lol! Nice

  • iMarc

    Apple wouldn’t have supplied Sprint if they were not sure that they would be hanging around long enough to sell plenty of them.

  • Just give up sprint, even the iPhone can’t make up for your crappy coverage and speeds.

  • madhatter

    I am severely disappointed with sprint’s iPhone. I went from at&t’s iPhone 3G to sprint’s Evo. I loved my iPhone, but the bill was getting to be too much for the limited serviced they provided. I hated the Evo and the stupid android platform, texting was a nightmare, the UI was a hassle… I was dying to finally go back to the iPhone. Finally…it came out on sprint.. The best of both worlds for me!…..so I thought… This iPhone is the slowest POS ever! The data speeds are almost non existent! siri can never connect, the 3G is so slow that it’s not even useful….the only time this phone rocks is when I tether it via wifi to (now) my mom’s evo! Which I had to do to even activate it! This is sad… Sprint better do something soon, the customer complaints about this very topic on sprint’s website is over 70 pages long! And it’s the phone, not the network, cause the Evo’s 3g is about times faster than the iPhone’s. Even when I tether my iPad to the Evo, it smokes my iPhone’s 3G connection.

  • sOlefresh

    Yea I wonder what’s the problem with that whole thing; why are other sprint phones working well and the iPhone not doing so hot with the network; either way I’m very happy with my AT&T service and wouldn’t change it for anything, regardless of the bill; not even that expensive to be honest as long as you have te right features to fit your needs and the data in my area is very quick on 3G