Sprint's sort of the Motorola of the carrier world right now -- a once-great force in the industry that may or may not have recognized its shortcomings too late, and the drama is still unfolding before our very eyes. Its results for the third quarter of the year are a mixed bag, because on the one hand, it's nothing but red ink and fleeing subscribers -- but on the flipside, analysts seem to be pleased that the numbers are better than feared. Some 801,000 postpaid customers sought greener pastures in the quarter -- less brutal than the nearly 1 million lost the quarter prior -- and $478 million went flying out of the coffers; chief executive Dan Hesse says he expects customer retention to be a prettier (albeit still net negative) picture in the fourth quarter, so at least these guys are headed in the right direction and we imagine the Pixi will only help with that overall. The big question remains, though: will they turn it around in time to avoid a takeover?

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Sprint slows (but doesn't stop) subscriber loss in third quarter