Sprint and just about everybody else in the wireless industry are not falling all over themselves to produce the next iPhone just because they want to join the latest fad.

Quite simply, it’s good business. Potentially very good business.

iPhone users spend more on their cell phone bill and surf the

on their phone more. All the cool features available on the iPhone persuaded many consumers to try a smartphone for the very first time. These are among the findings from research conducted by Michael Mace and his team at Rubicon Consulting. They studied the habits and impressions of iPhone users to prepare a fascinating report titled “The Apple iPhone: Successes and Challenges for the Mobile Industry.”

Here are just a few tidbits from the report:

*“The iPhone increases mobile browsing... More than 75% of iPhone users say it has led them to do more mobile browsing.

*The iPhone increases phone bills. The iPhone has increased mobile phone bills by an average of 24%, or $228 extra per year.

Sprint has worked with Samsung to develop the Instinct, a touch screen phone designed specifically to make surfing the Web and other data pursuits easier. Now reports are emerging that Nokia is working on a phone called the Tube as its own version of a touchscreen potential iPhone killer.

The loyalty and obsession of Apple devotees is legendary. But Steve Jobs had to team up with AT&T, which provides the network for U.S. iPhone consumers. The current iPhone doesn’t surf the Web quickly enough over AT&T’s network for many consumers, a fact the Rubicon analysts discovered when 40% of iPhone users reported “trouble displaying some websites they want to visit.”

This is an opening Sprint definitely is attempting to exploit by drawing consumers with a device that does operate at higher speeds. According to another finding of the Rubicon analysts, Sprint and other carriers will succeed in turning this into an advantage or suffer the pain of an Achilles’ heal.

“The iPhone leads people to change carriers. Almost half changed carriers when they got the iPhone,” Rubicon stated.

[Thanks: http://sprintconnection.kansascity.com/]