Sprint earnings announced yesterday were better than expected. Still bullish on the iPhone impact, Sprint wisely shows its prudence to stockholders with plans for network upgrades. While the iPhone on Sprint’s network changes the game for carriers, that $7 billion of new financing is intimidating. In the largest iPhone launch yet, let’s take a look at Sprint’s chance of delighting its customers and impacting carrier share in the market. If it’s any indication, Sprint is sold out of the 16GB phones and the large-capacity models have yet to hit shelves.
Judging from Sprint’s positive sentiment from users and Connectivity at the top of user interest, we believe the carrier has a good chance of taking market share. Users frequently review Sprint’s plans, phone selection, and pricing with glowing remarks. The planned network upgrades are a needed investment to delight existing and potential customers. Like they do with battery and graphics performance, users depend on connectivity to access content promised by the smartest of smartphones.
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In the Delight Landscape below, you’ll see each consequent iPhone model increase in user Delight. The Buzz, represented by the size of the bubbles, shows that Apple’s latest model is (1) receiving an amazing amount of user responses and (2) these users are saying great things.
Our data shows that iPhone 4S reviewers from Sprint and Verizon are more delighted than Best Buy or CNET reviewers. For the baseline of smartphone Delight, Best Buy customers are the happiest overall, AT&T is the most “Delightful” carrier, and Sprint customers are happier than those at Verizon. AT&T has a legacy of iPhone—you could guess that its millions of iPhone customers are indeed delighted. When we observe variation in delight feedback between carrier and retailer, it’s a great reminder that service and customer experience are also affecting consumer purchase behavior. The variation seen here could indicate that the iPhone means more to Verizon customers than AT&T customers. Tune in next week to find out.
Sprint is stepping up. iPhone 4S—check. Phone and plan selection—nice. Speedy connectivity—coming soon. Will the iPhone-ready Sprint topple AT&T and Verizon at the top? The signs are promising.