AT&T said it is still working on boosting coverage and improving the quality of service in major markets such as New York and San Francisco. The company said it made 150,000 improvements to its network last year. Before it got the iPhone, Sprint executives coyly said they were prepping to handle any major influx of traffic from such a marquee device. While Android devices have been shown to be major bandwidth hogs in recent years, the introduction of the iPhone 4S and the voice-command feature Siri has proven to be a data hog of its own. Because Siri constantly pings Apple's servers for information, the iPhone 4S has been shown to use twice as much data as the iPhone 4.
Remember, the iPhone runs on the carriers' 3G service, necessitating further investment there even as the carriers turn their iphone case or no case attention and most of their resources to the faster, more efficient 4G networks, Consumers are already seeing some of the steps the carriers have taken to offset the impact of the iPhone, AT&T was the first to move to a tiered pricing, and recently raised the price of its smartphone data plans, although it also lifted its limits too, Sprint, meanwhile, eliminated a slew of customer-friendly perks such as early upgrades, while enacting higher early termination fees and a shorter window for product returns..
Tangible and intangible benefitsOf course, the iPhone brings its share of advantages to a carrier. Some are obvious. The device's ability to win over new customers and retain existing ones has been proven over and over. That has remained the case even after AT&T lost its exclusive hold over the iPhone. AT&T's answer has been to offer up the older models for a heavily discounted price, expanding the potential base of iPhone customers. Without the iPhone, neither Verizon or AT&T would have been able to show the impressive customer growth that they did.
Perhaps the biggest benefit is in reduced customer turnover, known in industry parlance as churn, Sprint's Hesse has long complained that the availability of the iPhone at its two bigger rivals was a primary contributor to why he couldn't keep his subscribers, His belief is that by getting customers to stay on longer, he'll be able to eventually iphone case or no case turn a profit on them, It's a risky tightrope Hesse is walking on, In addition to the hefty iPhone subsidies Sprint has committed to paying, the company is building out its 4G LTE network, two moves that are expected to depress margins for the company over the next two years..
Because the iPhone was only available on one carrier for so long, there was an air of exclusivity about it that aided both Apple and AT&T. Verizon and Sprint, however, won't be reaping those benefits, since the iPhone no longer has the cachet of a hard-to-get device. Still, some analysts maintain the iPhone will pay dividends in the long run. Robert W. Baird analyst William Power said Verizon could be poised for further earnings growth this year. Verizon on Tuesday backed its per-share earnings forecast for 2012.