With the announcement of the iPhone 4S comes the announcement that the iPhone is coming to Sprint as well.
After ending its long run of only working with AT&T by teaming with Verizon last year, now the third largest cell phone provider in the United States is working with Apple to make the iPhone the number one smartphone in the world.
Sprint has been falling off as a wireless powerhouse in the last decade. By teaming with Apple to sell a minimum of 30.5 million iPhones, the provider is hoping to turn their luck around in coming years. It is already an uphill climb for Sprint, as they are not expected to profit off the alliance until 2014.
Apple always makes long-term contracts with providers, but doing so with Sprint is potentially a gamble because of Sprint’s lack of turning an annual profit in recent years. The true risk comes when you consider that Sprint has to buy about $20 billion worth of devices whether or not the sales are there.
This means that Sprint will have to get most of their current subscribers to change over to the iPhone or to increase their number of customers. One way or another, this is a big sink or swim challenge for Sprint.