Sprint's Q4 2011 results are in and, although the company is reporting a $1.3 billion net loss, they're highlighted by the best subscriber growth the carrier has seen since 2005. Both the loss and the sudden uptick in consumer interest can be partially attributed to Sprint's deal to carry Apple's iPhone — 1.8 million Sprint customers bought either an iPhone 4 or 4S, of whom 40 percent (around 720,000) were new subscribers. Sprint was only able to offer the latest iPhone models after agreeing to an expensive deal with Apple, and admits that "the combined impact of iPhone and Network Vision costs" is what's putting a drag on its otherwise buoyant revenue numbers. Sprint estimates that its operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) was reduced by $684m by iPhone subsidies and Network Vision investments.
On the plus side, average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by a record $3.69, sales improved by five percent to $8.72b in total, and Sprint's 55 million customers are a new record for the carrier.