At our advanced age, very little surprises or excites us any more.
Hell, even the sight of a Bollywood starlet in the buff (ahem, the Photoshopped ones) can excite no more than an Ah from us.
But there’s some news that still has the power to jolt us out of our chair.
Like for instance the report in the Wall Street Journal that the struggling U.S. mobile carrier Sprint has contracted with Apple to buy 30.5 million iPhones valued at about $20 billion over the next four years.
Yes, you read that right.
30.5 million iPhones for $20 billion at current prices.
If the Journal story is accurate, Sprint will be the third U.S. carrier to offer the popular iPhone to consumers.
Sprint’s larger rivals AT&T and Verizon already sell the iPhone.
Apparently, the absence of an iPhone in its portfolio had been a gaping hole and a major factor in customers abandoning it for rival carriers. The Journal has calculated that the Sprint stock has lost 80% of its stock value since the iPhone debuted in June 2007.
Sprint does not expect to make a profit on the iPhone deal until 2014.
Also, it seems Sprint is obligated to contractually buy the iPhones irrespective of whether it can ultimately sell them to consumers. A big risk there if some problem crops up with the iPhone or rivals put out a better device.
Unless you were hiding under a rock, you know that Apple will announce the next version of its iPhone tomorrow.
Blow to Android
Although Google’s Android software has a bigger market share in smartphones, the iPhone is the single largest selling smartphone brand.
Android phones are sold by multiple vendors.
Sprint’s deal with Apple is an indication that the recession notwithstanding demand for the iPhone remains strong.
Recent surveys have shown strong consumer satisfaction with their iPhones.
The deal is a blow to Android given that the huge value of the iPhone deal will require Sprint to make significant commitment to pushing the iPhone to customers, inevitably at the expense of Android phones.