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Apple and Sprint: Apple, Sprint Nextel – Carrier Struggles, Cupertino Doesn’t Provide Much Assistance

Apple and Sprint: Earlier today, we talked about how the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone has helped AT&T keep its revenue strong, despite the fact that its landline business is dwindling.

Apple Inc (AAPL)While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) often times has the power to carry another company, much in the way it has assisted AT&T, things don’t always work out this way. And unfortunately for Sprint, the nation’s third largest wireless carrier is finding out the hard way.

Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) has posted its official “First Quarter 2013 Results” to its website. The entire report can be read in its entirety here.

While there is plenty of interesting information in the report, we are going to focus more on overall sales as well as the impact that the Apple Inc. iPhone had on the carrier’s business during the first quarter of 2013.

First and foremost, let’s take note that Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) sold roughly five million smartphones during the quarter. While this number is admirable, it is important to note that only 1.5 million of the devices were Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones.

For comparison’s sake, AT&T sold six million smartphone devices. Of these, roughly 4.8 million came from Apple.

This goes to show you that while AT&T is relying heavily on Apple, Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) is not in the same position.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? On one side of the argument, Sprint is not putting all its eggs in one basket. On the other side of things, it also shows that customers who are interested in the iPhone are not beating their door down.

This is backed up by the fact that Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) loss 560,000 subscribers during the first quarter.

How does this Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sales number compare to past quarters? Well, when you look at sales during the fourth quarter of 2012 you will see that the company sold a best-ever 2.2 million devices.

In 2012 alone, Sprint sold 6.6 million iPhones.

If the company keeps its Q1 pace for the rest of 2013, it will come up short of its 2012 number. Of course, there is no way of saying what is going to play out over the next three quarters.

One final note from the Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) first quarter results:

“Forty-three percent of iPhone sales were to new customers, a rate that continues to outperform larger competitors.”

Who knows exactly how Sprint feels about its Apple iPhone sales during the first quarter of 2013. As the year wears on and second quarter numbers become available in a few months from both Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) and Apple, we will get a better idea of how the partnership between the two companies is working out.

Check back here for more updates on Apple and Sprint.

DISCLOSURE: I have no positions in any stock mentioned.

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