Major Carriers May Not Profit From Subsidized iPhone 5 Customers For Up To 9 Months
For wireless carriers, the end result is that iPhone customers don't become profitable until about 9 months have passed, compared to around 5 months for Android devices. Companies like AT&T and Verizon end up seeing their profit margins tighten after each new iPhone launch, though that's partially offset by the profits made from the previous year's model.
Even though iPhones aren't as profitable for wireless carriers as competing devices, it's tough to ignore their popularity. By selling the iPhone, carriers are better equipped to hold onto existing customers and attract new ones into the fold. After all, people aren't lining up for blocks and setting up camp in anticipation of Windows Phone, Android, or BlackBerry devices; they're only doing it for iOS handsets.