The iPhone is (still) saving the mobile industry: Apple’s iPhone almost singlehandedly saved AT&T and Sprint

“The iPhone has been, by many measures, one of the most successful products in business history,” Kevin Kelleher reports for Fortune. “Nearly 200 million iPhones have been sold in four and a half years, 37 million of them in the last three months of 2011. Apple’s market cap has soared from $104 billion in June 2007, when the first iPhone was sold, to $480 billion today.”

“No doubt, the iPhone is a revenue machine. Last quarter, it generated $24.4 billion in revenue for Apple (AAPL), greater than the $20.9 billion Microsoft (MSFT) made in all of its various businesses,” Kelleher reports. “It is, to say the least, obscenely profitable: iPhones make up 75% of the profits of cell-phone makers, despite being only 9% of all units shipped.”

Kelleher reports, “Less visible in such soaring statistics, is the impact on the mobile carriers. Even with the heavy subsidies phone companies must pay to Apple and some five years after its introduction, the iPhone may well be the best thing going for the mobile industry… But there’s a catch… Apple’s iPhone almost singlehandedly saved AT&T and Sprint. But it come at a steep price, one that the mobile carriers will be paying for years.”

Read more in the full article here.

20 Comments

    1. You have got to be the most shallow tech observer on the planet and all of us here on the MDN forum long ago tired of your moronic take on the 4S. What recycled tech? Siri? The A5? The vastly improved camera? The redesigned antenna? The world phone capability? Your limited observation skills only allow you to “see” the casing, which, yes, was held over from the 4. But it is a beautiful design and the market – which goes far, far beyond fanboys – clearly loves it. My suggestion: if you don’t have something insightful or funny to say, STFU.

      1. Ralph – completely agree. This idiot seems to be more interested in checking out SI Swimsuit models and slagging off a real nice girl in the most blatant and sexist manner.
        He has no place here. Can we all get him to STFU??

    2. Dude, just drop it already. The 4s may not have had your technorgasm wetdream BigAsScreen, but it most certainly is NOT recycled technology. Get over yourself. Feel free to get an android if screen size is your be all end all of a mobile phone experience.

    3. I concur with Ralph M. BLN, if you can’t come up with anything more than the same tired, ignorant remarks, then remove yourself from the forum and find something else to occupy yourself with, like Internet porn. You are tedious and boring. STFU.

    4. You’ve completely misused the word inculcated. It is a transitive verb in which the patient can either be the person who is the recipient of something strongly taught or the patient is the thing strongly taught. Your sentence follows the first form yet fails to actually include the thing that was inculcated. All you have is an agent preposition- the means by which the thing you didn’t mention was strongly taught.

  1. “But it come at a steep price, one that the mobile carriers will be paying for years.”
    I really don get those “analyst”. If I invest 1 dollar in a company or product that will give me a 2 dollars, it is ok.
    But if I invest in a product that will cost me 600 dollars and will give me 3 times that, is not a better deal that 1 dollar for 2?
    At&T is not obligated to sell the iPhone anymore, if they still selling iPhones is because it is a very good investment for them. So what does it matter if they invest a high price for it if they are getting a lot more? what is the point of bringing the “high cost” and not the “Very high profit”?

  2. AT&T will lose many subscribers when their iPhone 4 contracts end. Their grandfathered unlimited data users are pissed. I’m
    Hopping on the Verizon train with the LTE Verizon iPhone 5.

  3. I love the iPhone, but it did not save AT&T. Without that innovation, the cellular companies would have continued chugging along with Blackberries and various feature phones for years to come.

    In fact, the iPhone hurt the cellular companies by wresting control from them and nullifying some of their very high margin revenue streams, while simultaneously stressing their available bandwidth.

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