The third largest wireless carrier in the United States is betting on the iPhone 5 in a big way. Sprint Nextel Corp. will pay Apple a whopping $20 billion dollars to give its customers access to iPhone 5, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company's top executive told Sprint's board that he expects to lose money on the deal until sometime in 2014.
He also reportedly said that the deal would require them to purchase at least 30.5 million iPhones over the next four years, according to a source familiar with the company. That's where that $20 billion dollar figure comes from.
According to the same insider source, board members seemed worried that the wait for the payoff in this deal was too long, and that the deal might outlast the iPhone's popularity.
"This is a bet-the-company kind of thing,'' a person familiar with Sprint's decision-making told the WSJ. He or she described the impact to the company's financials as "staggering." Whether the deal is bad or not, the Board of Directors ended up signing off on it and here we are.
Apple is expected to unveil its newest iPhone at its Cupertino, California event tomorrow. Sprint is expected to announce their plans to carry the device later in the week.
One advantage Sprint has over its competitors is that it still offers unlimited data plans. One would assume that such data plans would be available to new iPhone customers as well.
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