Sprint is paying some hefty subsidies to carry the iPhone — up to $15.5 billion over four years — but CEO Dan Hesse still appears confident that the phone was a worthwhile gamble. During the annual shareholders meeting, Hesse reassured listeners that "carrying the iPhone will be quite profitable." While he admitted Sprint may not actually see profit from the iPhone for a few more years, Hesse says that company is "very happy" with the decision. "We believe in the long term... And over time we will make more money on iPhone customers than we will on other customers."
Hesse's comments echo an interview he gave in March, where he said that iPhone customers were more likely to stay loyal to Sprint and used less data than those on high-end Android phones. Due to pressure from shareholders, however, he's cut his own compensation package by $3.2 million this year, and one group pushed for him to be removed from the board of directors, though he was reelected by a wide margin. If Sprint's LTE network launches as planned this year, it will help alleviate at least some of the problems the company has faced and give Hesse time to make good on his iPhone promises.