Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Is the iPhone 4 Too Old for Sprint?

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S  ) has spent years trying to position itself as the cheaper -- and, lately, more data plan-friendly -- carrier when pitted against the larger Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) and AT&T (NYSE: T  ) .

However, it's surprisingly not going to carry the entire iPhone product line at its stores.

A Sprint spokesperson is confirming to CNET that it won't carry the iPhone 4 at its stores come Friday. Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iPhone 5 rollout strategy in this country entails shaving the price of the current $199 iPhone 4S in half and offering the prior year's entry-level iPhone 4 for free with two-year contracts.

Sprint will continue to offer the iPhone 4 online, but not through its stores.

This is an odd move. Sprint didn't have a problem discounting all of its smartphones -- including the iPhone -- during a back-to-school promotion last month. The move made Sprint the cheapest place to grab Apple's iconic smartphone. Why would it hold back now?

Are the margins just too low? Unlike Verizon and AT&T, Sprint isn't profitable. Analysts don't see Sprint out of the red until 2014 at the earliest.

Is the iPhone 4 itself just too dated? There may be something to that. Even the new iPhone 5 lacks features found in many Android devices. Offering a smartphone that's two generations older than that -- under the same data-plan pricing as new devices -- may just be too hard a sell for walk-in customers.

Either way, it's still odd for Sprint to stand out in a way that doesn't position itself as jockeying for the most value-minded iPhone shoppers.

Apple jacks
A new premium report on Apple details the opportunities and challenges in store for its shareholders. It's also been updated to include new iPhone 5 details! Check it out now.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He owns no shares in any of the stocks in this story and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 20, 2012, at 12:35 AM, TaxSucker08 wrote:

    I think the author overlooked one key detail- Sprint signed a deal with Apple just before the iPhone 4s rolled out. It makes sense for Apple- and carriers who previously sold the iPhone 4- to offer them for free to clear out unsold inventory, but Sprint didn't have unsold inventory of the iPhone 4.

    Given the volume commitment to Apple is based on a dollar amount- not a unit amount- Sprint doesn't have much incentive to sell a 2 generation old device. Besides, there a $99 iPhone 4s is still a great buy. Why dilute the focus by pushing a product that's yesterday's news?

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2024065, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/28/2016 10:15:40 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,200.36 30.68 0.17%
S&P 500 2,131.29 -1.75 -0.08%
NASD 5,215.51 -0.46 -0.01%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/28/2016 9:59 AM
AAPL $114.87 Up +0.39 +0.34%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
S $6.38 Up +0.09 +1.43%
Sprint CAPS Rating: **
T $36.65 Up +0.13 +0.34%
AT and T CAPS Rating: ****
VZ $48.24 Down -0.30 -0.61%
Verizon Communicat… CAPS Rating: ****