Sprint Nextel Corp. says wireless service revenues for the fourth quarter of 2011 increased more than seven percent year-over-year, driven by Sprint platform postpaid average revenue per user growth of $3.69.

But Sprint also saw the expected drag on earnings from Apple iPhone subsidies and sales expense associated with the successful launch of the iPhone. Some would say it is A;pple that is the clear winner from Sprint iPhone sales.

Still, Sprint Nextel Corp. posted a narrower loss than some analysts projected.

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Sprint reported a fourth-quarter loss of 35 cents a share, where some analysts had predicted a loss of 38 cents.

Forty percent of Sprint’s 1.8 million iPhone sales in the fourth quarter were to new customers.

Sprint added 161,000 total net subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2011, but some might note that sopme analysts had projected gains of perhaps about 270,000 hew subscribers.

Still, for a firm that had lost customers for years, the recent report is a definite improvement.

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