Sprint says iPhone 4S launch beat "initial expectations"

Sprint said today in a press release that the first day sales of Apple's iPhone 4S "resulted in Sprint’s best ever day of sales in retail, web and telesales for a device family in Sprint history." The company would not give specific sales figures for the iPhone 4S, saying only that the response to the iPhone 4S "by current and new customers has surpassed initial expectations."

Sprint made these comments today as part of its quarterly financial results. The wireless carrier said that it brought in revenues of $8.3 billion and had a net loss of $301 million. Even with the loss the numbers were better than expected from financial analysts. Overall the third quarter of 2011 had 1.3 million wireless subscribers added to Sprint's networks.

The fact that Sprint is finally selling the iPhone, after seeing AT&T and Verizon get a head starts on selling Apple's smartphone, is a huge move for the company. The nation's third largest carrier is clearly hoping that the boost in sales from the iPhone 4S will help its bottom line. Indeed, the company says that "iPhone users are expected to be among Sprint’s most profitable customers."

Even with Sprint's unlimited data plan, the company clearly hopes that iPhone 4S users will spend money in other ways, perhaps in accessories or in other services. When all three iPhone carriers report their fourth quarter 2011 results sometime on Friday it should be interesting to see what the sales break down will be between Sprint, AT&T and Verizon.

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