Still managing to skirt the ever-present how many Palm Pres has the company sold question, Sprint reported its Q2 2009 results this morning. While the company did post a slightly bigger loss than expected, it wasn’t the bone crushing declines we’ve seen from Old Yeller in recent history. Operating revenue came in at $8.1 billion, down 10 percent YoY and just short of the Street’s $8.12 billion projection, and it posted a net loss of $384 million or $0.13 per share, down 12 percent from $344 million in the same quarter last year. The part that’s really hard to swallow here is that despite the release of the Palm Pre, one of the most highly anticipated handsets of the year, Sprint still managed to shed 257,000 subscribers net in the quarter, up from 187,000 in Q1. Its subscriber count now stands at 48.8 million. The shocking part — Sprint lost 991,000 postpaid subscribers this past quarter, meaning the bleeding has barely slowed in this crucial category. If the Palm Pre, endless time spent improving customer service, vastly improved network quality and some amazingly attractive plans can’t keep subscribers on board, what can?
While we wait patiently for the 27th to see how the recession treated Big Red this past quarter, Verizon has issued its first little taste of Q2: 1.1 million net subscriber additions. The number is very respectable of course, though it falls short of the 1.4 million reeled in by AT&T over the same period of time. As of the end of Q2, Verizon Wireless is now home to a total of 87.7 million subscribers — 87.7 meeeeeeeeellion. 85.2 million of Verizon’s total subscriber base signed on directly with VZW as opposed to signing up through a reseller. So what have we learned? Verizon is most definitely still top dog where subscriber count is concerned, but whether or not the carrier managed to dig deep enough into the pockets of said customer base and pull out a solid Q2 will be a mystery for another few days.