While speaking with a group of reporters touring the company’s headquarters, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse revealed that the company’s delay in carrying the iPhone was partly due to waiting for Apple to give them an opportunity to do so. Sprint’s waiting game came to an end when the company received a call from Apple last year.
While it’s no secret the Now Network bet big on Apple’s popular smartphone, Hesse appears to have no regrets. “I think the number one thing was getting the call from Apple that they were interested in at least having the opportunity,” said Hesse. Before deciding to commit to the iPhone, Sprint had to review the expenses that come with carrying the device.
Hesse said the iPhone attracts customers, who are valuable in the long run, but the upfront expenses associated with offering the device are very costly. Sprint’s decision to invest in the iPhone came at a tough time, as the carrier was in the process of building a new 4G LTE network.
“We committed to $15.5 billion over four years in purchases,” Hesse said. “That’s a large commitment.” Looking at Apple’s success, “we saw no reason to bet against Apple.”
Sprint’s CEO discussed the company’s decision to use WiMAX as its introduction to 4G. Hesse said at the time Sprint didn’t have enough spectrum to launch LTE, so it would either be the first major U.S. carrier with WiMAX, or the last with LTE.
“Today, looking back, I think it was the right decision,” said Hesse and added “You really don’t want to be on the outside.” As T-Mobile has faced the daunting task of competing without the iPhone, it appears Sprint made the right decision.
Sprint’s deal with Apple has yet to result in the carrier offering the iPad. “I can’t comment on that,” said Hesse on the possibility of carrying Apple’s tablet.
AT&T and Verizon currently offer LTE models of the iPad. It’s been long thought that Sprint didn’t receive the latest iPad due to the carrier’s lack of LTE when the tablet was released. However, now that Sprint’s LTE network is live, hopefully Sprint customers will have an option to purchase an LTE-capable iPad from their network of choice and won’t have to worry about being “on the outside.”
[via: All Things D]