Sprint posted its Q4 2011 earnings on Wednesday and announced it sold 1.8 million iPhones in the quarter. Forty percent of those sales were to new customers and, overall, the carrier added 1.6M net subscribers in the quarter. Sprint iPhone sales were strong, but it still trails Verizon Wireless which sold 4.3 million iPhones and AT&T which activated 7.6 million iPhones. Combined the three carriers account for about 13.7 million of Apple's 37 million iPhones it sold in the quarter.
The iPhone boosted Sprint last quarter, but it wasn't all rainbows and unicorns for the carrier. Sprint posted a US$1.3 billion loss in the quarter, some of which comes from the iPhone and some from its 4G LTE network build-out. The carrier had to absorb an undisclosed amount of money due to sales and subsidies costs associated with the iPhone.
A financial hit from the iPhone was expected by analysts. James Ratcliffe of Barclays Capital writes this about Sprint, "The financials are weak due to the amount of money they are sending to Cupertino. This year and next are going to be unattractive financially. I think people who own Sprint might be looking more toward the prospects in 2014."