Did Sprint Bet On the Wrong Smartphone?

22 Comments

Sprint LogoAs lovely as the Pre (s palm) is, it’s no iPhone (s aapl), as Sprint’s (s S) third-quarter loss and the departure of 545,000 total subscribers proves. The nation’s third-largest wireless carrier, despite having an exclusive on the Pre, saw an exodus of 801,000 contract-holding customers in the latest three-month period, but offset that by adding 666,000 pre-paid subscribers. It now has a total of 48.3 million subscribers. Sprint is enlarging its prepaid business with an acquisition and competitive rate plans as a way to ensure that contract customers who leave for pre-paid plans still have a place in the Sprint family, but so far its bet on the Pre and pre-paid hasn’t pushed it back into the black.

22 Comments

sfdkj

Sprint’s as good as any of the others; cell quality still has a ways to go before it can match landline for reliability, signal quality — everything except mobility really.

Sprint’s support for the Pre would have been a better investment if they’d involved themselves more heavily in making sure the design was as solid and user friendly as the iPhone. I have a Sprint Pre that I like, but it’s a bit touchy and does not yet have an impressive software catalog — most flagrantly from my point of view, Sprint should have required that key Treo applications like password vaults, ebook readers be fully-featured, fully-functioning on Palm’s WebOS, and readily available within a week of the official Pre launch. I’m still waiting for the ability to port my (popular) SplashID and eReader apps to the Pre platform so that I can port my logins and hundreds of eBooks to my Pre.

It boils down to market perception, and I think that both Palm and Sprint short-changed themselves (again!).

powel

no, they didn’t bet wrong .. try out htc hero .. just a fantastic one. i have no use for laptop anymore.

James D

I agree completely. I did my research for a good 4 to 5 weeks and chose sprint and the htc hero over the iphone, mytouch, blackberry, any of those. HTC hero is simply amazing and I am really having the same issue of hardly even using my laptop now, it’s just not as fun for me =)

Drew

I think the Pre is a pretty good phone, but its not one that will bring Sprint out of its nosedive. Sprint did the smart thing and put out an Android phone, the HTC Hero. I believe they also have the Samsung Moment coming out running Android. Once people start buying Android phones in droves this holiday season, Sprint will look much better. Verizon’s Droid will hurt them though, no doubt about it. I do have an iPhone 3GS right now, but I may switch to Android when my contract is up (in a year and a half!). Needless to say, I am watching Android closely.

Yuvamani

Can anyone tell me whats so bad about Sprint?

I switched from Sprint to ATT because of … you guessed it. That was when I had a palm treo 700p and the pre was not available. Other than the iPhone, I hated, absolutely hated ATT. Overpriced. High data costs. Shitty network etc etc.

After this phone has run its course, I wanna go back to sprint (if they are still around) . Great value and decent coverage. Verizons coverage is not worth the premium for me.

seamonkey420

umm, have you ever had to call sprint on a problem ever?

thats why i don’t like sprint. it takes me about 2-3 different customer service reps for them to understand my problems (i am our BES admin and do blackberry setups and TELL THEM EXACTLY THE PROBLEM, but reps have no idea since they are still outsourced or so it seems).

TimB

This seems a little dated. Sprint has the Hero – which was the most-anticipated Android phone on the market until the Droid news of the last week or so. Also, while no fanboy, I’ve never had an issue with Sprint’s network, and they seem to have the most aggressive “unlimited” pricing, and are a contender for earliest 3g/4g deployments. Find me something better, and I’d switch, but Sprint has a lot going for it.

gbp

Sprint’s issue is marketing.
Hands down Pre is more productive phone than any phone available.

SPRINT dug a hole from which it never got out “perception”.

To overcome they should advertise the solid 3G network, cheap prices and the Pre too.
Then you see folks jumping to SPRINT.

Matt Kurio

Sprint has both Android phones and Palm phones. They had an Android device before Verizon. The hardware of the Droid is nice, but the specs of the Droid can be replicated and the software is available.

Sprint actually has bets on both sides.

HTC Touch Pro 2 User

Forget about the Pre, Sprint has the HTC Touch Pro 2 now which is a solid smartphone. Big improvement over the TP1.

Niraj

Agreed, I love this phone. And for the Android crowd, they’re getting the Hero soon. So the Pre was just the first of a wave of new phones, and I think this will help because as mentioned above, their data plan is a great deal.

BKM

For the life of me I can’t figure out why Sprint is losing so many customers. Is it just purely the phone selection (hoping they get more Android phones…)? Comparing the price of a Verizon plan to a Sprint one it’s hard to justify the Verizon’s plan price with what you get on Sprint. Why doesn’t that attract more attention?

dnndev

A few weeks ago talking to a co-worker who was a happy sprint customer that switched to att and purchased an iphone. (this all happened within the last month – and he switched because he was upgrading to a smartphone)

Of course I talked to him about the palm pre and he said when he was at the sprint store the sales rep never told him about the PRE and he would have gladly stayed with sprint and purchased a pre instead of switching to att and iphone….the point is in this case it was a salesman who did not do his job! – inform customer of all smart phone options.

Brett

I switched to Sprint a few months ago for the price. I was looking for a smart phone and they tried to talk me out of a pre. I am very happy with the service, the price, and my pre but I cannot figure out why the salesman tried to talk me out of getting the pre.

Darren Wai-Loon Chan

dnndev, what’s your issue with Sprint? You seriously would pick the Palm Pre if it was on Verizon? Sprint and Verizon Wireless have a voice and data roaming agreement. So if your coverage is terrible on Sprint’s network, the same would be true if you were on Verizon’s network.

dnndev

1) The company I work (who provides my cell phone) for has a verizon exclusive agreement
2) When I put my zip code in sprint’s website I get this message (57350):
***********************************************************************************
The following errors were found while processing your request
We’re sorry…
Sprint does not currently offer wireless service in this area. However, please check back because our coverage is continuously growing.

If you believe you entered a valid ZIP code, please try again.
***********************************************************************************
Where I live we have alltel and verizon EVDO data service.

the above issues aside, I would use sprint – especially with the free mobile-mobile on any network.

dnndev

I would own a pre now if it were on verizon… in my opinion palm picked the wrong wireless carrier.

Stacey Higginbotham

Fair point. And lucky you, you should get your chance to own a Pre on the Verizon network soon. Unless you now feel like snagging a Droid.

gbp

Stacey,
One phone cannot change the fate of a carrier.
It happened with iPhone and it will be the first and last time such thing happened.

Phones are getting smarter , they are like cars , think about the dozen or so automobile brands, they are all making money in their own right.

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