Are Carriers Sharing in Apple's iPhone 4S Bonanza?

While analysts from around the world have been lauding the success of the latest iPhone, on both the domestic and international market, Apple's carrier partners are not yet reaping the rewards, and are even suffering under the weight of the 'costly' iPhone, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Apparently, Apple drove a hard bargain with US carriers who were desperate to include iPhone 4S in their offering to subscribers.

Sprint, for instance, in its determination to get the latest iPhone, guaranteed Apple $15.5 billion in the next four years. The bad news for the carrier was that in the last quarter this contributed towards a $1.3 billion loss. Verizon also reported a reduction in profits by almost 5%.

"We continue to believe the iPhone will bring significant value to Sprint over the long term, and early results are in line with or better than our business case assumptions," Daniel Hesse, chief executive of Sprint, stated.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile, the fourth US carrier, is still annoyed at not getting the chance to offer the latest iPhone.

iPhone 4S has seen the widest availability in the US, being offered by three carriers at the same time and internationally, being released in over 90 national markets by the end of last year.

Consequently, iPhone sales broke all records in the previous quarter and even brought more money into Apple's vaults than the entire range of Microsoft products. Time will tell whether carriers can be as happy with the iPhone's success as the Cupertino based company itself.