Sprint Nextel's (NYSE:S) CFO Bob Brust said the carrier's revenue will be roughly the same at year-end 2010 compared with last year, and also pumped up the company's first 3G/4G phone, the HTC Evo. He also took a shot at AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T).
Brust, speaking at an investor conference in New York City, reiterated comments he made last month, noting Sprint is "out of the running- for-your-life thing," though he did warn that revenue could be "bumpy" for the rest of the year. "This year will be roughly the same as last year when it's all said and done," he said.
The Sprint finance chief also said sales of the HTC Evo "did really well across the country, not just in 4G areas," and the carrier is "working hard to remedy" shortages of the device in stores. However, Brust warned of potential subscriber losses due to AT&T's launch of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4 June 24.
"Every year all U.S. carriers, except AT&T, go through a little trauma called 'iPhone introduction,'" he said. "We have a little churn issue called 'People leaving to go to the iPhone.' As people's contracts expire they leave and go to AT&T for the iPhone." This year, he said, he hoped the dynamic would be different because of the Evo.
"Our hope is that we won't lose as many customers this year as we have in the past," he said during an interview with CNet. Brust didn't miss an opportunity to ding his larger competitor, noting AT&T's recent introduction of tiered data pricing--as well as AT&T's admitted network problems in some high-density areas in New York and San Francisco--might make subscribers think twice about churning.
"AT&T has been getting a lot of flack for its network," he said. "People all over the country have been complaining about the service. And they've raised rates for some of their customers. I think they are under a lot of stress right now."
Sprint has been promoting its "Everything Data" plan for the Evo (which is $69.99 per month but comes with a $10 data surcharge).
Interestingly, Sprint recently backed away from sales estimates it had made about the Evo. Sprint originally said that the total number of Evo devices sold on launch day Friday was three times the number of Samsung Instinct and Palm (NASDAQ:PALM) Pre devices sold over their first three days on the market combined--but the carrier subsequently backtracked, said it had made a mistake, and explained that Evo first-day sales were in line with the three-day sales figures for the Instinct and Pre.
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