Sprint seems to keep bleeding, keep, keep, bleeding subscribers. After losing 801,000 post-paid subscribers, which is slightly better than the 870,000 that analysts expected, Sprint might need to really change its game to do more than just stay afloat. Consequently, Sprint’s losses for the quarter are a whopping $478 million compared to $326 million YoY. Revenue dropped about nine percent to $8.04 billion. Interestingly enough, Sprint’s prepaid service, Boost, added over 600,000 subscribers thanks to Boost’s $50 unlimited plan. But with its Simply Everything packages including Any Mobile, Any Time, and hardware like the Palm Pre and HTC Hero, Sprint could be looking to shrink its quarterly losses in the future and maybe even see some positive gain.
This certainly doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but Sprint has finally made the Samsung Instinct HD official this morning. Best Buy first spilled the beans back in August and a steady flow of information has been trickling in ever since. When Sprint mentioned the handset in a newsletter to Premier customers two weeks ago however, it became painfully obvious the Instinct HD would get official soon enough. So feast your eyes, Sprint fans — the 3.2-inch touchscreen touting Instinct HD features a 5 megapixel camera, “HD” video playback via a TV-out port, “HD” video recording, the full Opera Mobile 9.7 browser, Wi-Fi, a proximity sensor, haptic feedback, an Ambient Light Sensor and an accelerometer. The handset will become available on September 27th through Best Buy and then on October 11th through Sprint channels. Pricing is set at $249.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate on a 2-year contract (rebate is instant at Best Buy). Anyone planning to dive right in or will you try to hold off until Sammy’s new Instinct sheds the early adopter tax?
On one end of the mobile spectrum, you have smartphone OSes that are feature packed, diverse and almost endlessly enhanceable. On the other end of the spectrum, you have dumb phone OSes that are limited in function but typically well-suited for the average consumer. Somewhere in the middle lies Qualcomm’s BREW Mobile Platform. Some may have been under the impression that BREW was going the way of the dinosaur but the truth is that it’s still managing to garner attention from manufacturers and carriers alike. Back in July, HTC reportedly let it be known that it has plans to release a BREW-powered handset some time in 2009. Now Sprint has jumped on board with this morning’s announcement that “it is planning to offer its customers additional device options by launching devices running Qualcomm’s Brew Mobile Platform™ (Brew MP).” No word yet on who might manufacture said phones, though HTC could certainly be among the companies currently working on a BREW-based Sprint handset. Whether or not the addition of BREW MP will be welcomed by Sprint subscribers remains to be seen but more options are never a bad thing, we suppose.
Granted this isn’t typically how we learn of new handsets from Sprint, but anyone still not convinced that Sprint is indeed preparing to launch a new variant of the Instinct can now rest easy. Sure, last month we exclusively told you about the phone appearing on Best Buy’s site and then about a week later it popped up again in live shots, but some people just aren’t happy until they hear it from the horse’s mouth. For those people, we’re happy to inform you that the horse’s most recent newsletter sent out to Premier customers includes the little image and ensuing blurb you see to the right. Whether or not it was included by mistake is unknown but it was in fact included and as such, it’s more than safe to say a launch is almost at hand. The blurb highlights “a 3.2″ screen, enhanced visual voicemail, simpler texting, improved browsing and a 5-megapixel camera,” so consider those the main talking points once Sprint does finally unveil its new Instinct. As for when that might happen or how much the HD will cost, no word yet we’re afraid. Soon, Sprint fans, soon.
If there’s one thing we love when it comes to carriers, it’s cryptic emails. There’s just nothing like getting speculation swirling ahead of an announcement and what better way than to send out a hype-mailer to get people’s gears turning. Above is an email sent out today to Sprint Premier customers, giving them a bit of a heads up that something big is coming tomorrow via newsletter. Did we say ‘big’? Big just doesn’t cut it, people — this is shaping up to be a “wireless revolution”! We’re not going to make any guesses here, but considering the email references Simply Everything, Right Plan Promise and ReadyNow, odds are good it has something to do with a new type of service or plan offering. Odds are also good that it has something to do with this “Any Mobile” site listed as coming soon that was dug up by our tipster. Anyone care to wager a guess?
After yesterday’s shenanigans we’re not sure how long this offer will stand. Apropos, Pre hopefuls might want to jump on this new price point as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Palm made its second webOS-powered handset official this morning and we suppose there is no better way to celebrate than by buying the compay’s first webOS-powered handset — you know, just to ensure you aren’t eligible for 2-year contract pricing once the Pixi launches. Sprint has just cut the price of a shiny new Pre from $299.99 to $249.99 before the $100 mail-in rebate, meaning when all is said and done you’ll be out $149.99. Retail partners such as Best Buy and Amazon are still pricing the handset at $199.99 so for the time being, the new price is Sprint-only. Bottom line: if you were waiting to see how Palm’s first candy bar webOS phone would shape up before committing to a new contract and the Pixi doesn’t float your boat, Sprint just saved you $50.
Have you been watching all the Palm Pre coverage in recent months with jealousy, just waiting for the right time to strike? Well boys and girls, that time may be now. From now until October 10th, Sprint has effectively knocked $100 off the price of a shiny new Palm Pre for customers coming over from another carrier. Here’s how it works: Purchase a Palm Pre on a 2-year contract before October 10th and port a number in from your old carrier. That’s it. Within your first three months of service, Sprint will issue a $100 service credit to your account. Call it a welcome present, call it an attempt to boost sales or call it whatever else you want — the bottom line is that you can now effectively score a new Pre for $99 after MIR and a service credit. Any takers?
UPDATE: Consider us amazed. As quickly as Sprint’s offer appeared, it’s now off the table. Sprint’s official comment: “After further internal review today, the offer of a port-in service credit of $100 to new customers who buy the Palm Pre has been pulled, because it was put into the system in error.” Umm, ok. Sprint says it will honor the promo for anyone who managed to snag a Pre during the brief period of time before the promo was pulled.
Best Buy announced yesterday that it would be Sprint’s exclusive retail partner (for 60 days, we hear) for the highly anticipated HTC Hero, which will be available at each of Best Buy’s 1,044 locations across the country beginning October 11th. As is always the case with Best Buy Mobile, there is no need to bother with that pesky mail-in rebate as BBYM is spotting customers the $100 and offering the Hero for a straight $179.99 on a 2-year contract. We’ve also learned that while pre-orders aren’t officially available yet, some locations are already offering to cement your position at the front of the Hero line. For those of you with nearby Best Buys that aren’t willing to bend the rules, pre-orders should officially be available in just over a week. If you’re lucky however, a lax location, a friendly sales rep and a $50 deposit are all you need to make it happen — as you can clearly see from the image above.
What? You thought Sprint was done now that it announced the HTC Hero? Apparently things are just getting started, Sprint fans, as two new handsets have popped up on Sprint rebate sheets valid through October 31st, and you know what that means — well, sort of. Rebate sheets have a tendency to be tricky territory because the handsets found within don’t always launch when you might expect. They do however, give a good general time frame nonetheless. On to the details… The first handset, dubbed the Samsung Intrepid, is the Ace sequel many of you have been waiting for. Details are a bit limited for the time being but we know it’ll run Windows Mobile 6.5 so the soonest we could possibly see it is October 6th (though we think it may come a bit later). Rumored specs include a 528MHz processor, QWERTY keypad, 3 megapixel camera, CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and GSM/GPRS/EDGE connectivity, Wi-Fi, aGPS, microSDHC support and a QVGA display. Most importantly perhaps, at least as far as current Samsung Ace owners are concerned, it’s said to sport 256 MB RAM and 512 MB ROM. As for the other unannounced handset — the Samsung Moment — we’ve got nothing for the time being but details will surely find their way to light now that we know this bad boy is out there. Hit the jump for a bigger version of the image above along with one more shot.
We’re willing to forgive the horrible quality on these press mock ups of Sprint’s HTC Touch Pro2 because, well, we’re just way too happy to see this sucker get official to care. Are you a current or prospective Sprint subscriber? Do you have $350 dollars burning a hole in your pocket and a hankering for one of the sexiest Windows Mobile phones on earth? Rest easy friends, as Sprint has just officially announced the HTC Touch Pro2. That’s right Sprint fans, the Pro2′s giant tilting 3.6-inch WVGA touchscreen display, landscape QWERTY keypad, 3.2 megapixel camera with auto-focus and TouchFLO 3D UI can soon be yours. Sprint’s Touch Pro2 will launch next Tuesday, September 8th, for $349.99 on a 2-year contract after a $100 mail-in rebate. Sure the early adopter tax is higher than usual but you know what they say — you have to pay to play.
Two new Palm handsets allegedly hit Sprint’s inventory system; webOS fans allegedly cry tears of joy
It appears as though webOS junkies may soon have a new way to get their fix — two new ways, even. According to a screenshot allegedly depicting Sprint’s inventory system, not one but two new Palm handsets have materialized; the 120 and C40. Let’s look at what we’ve got: Sprint’s Pre is coded as 100, or P100 in internal systems. At Verizon, it’s pretty safe to assume the Pre has been dubbed P101 as we’ve seen several references to it. Both the screenshot above and the shots in this post also depict a device coded 12x — the 120 is listed above and the P121 is reportedly in Verizon’s inventory system right now. We’ve seen the 120 referenced earlier as well, and it was always thought to be the Eos. As both carriers are rumored to be getting Palm’s Centro replacement in the near future, the Eos being designated as 12x might still be a safe bet. As for what the C40 could be however, we’re stumped. If the C40 is actually the Eos and the 120 is a refreshed Pre of some sort, why does Verizon have both the P101 and P121 in its inventory right now? Does Big Red plan to launch 8GB and 16GB Pre models simultaneously, a la older iPhone models? Hit the comments and let us know what you think.
Earlier this week, we exclusively scooped the presence of Sprint’s upcoming Instinct HD on Best Buy’s website and the simple fact that it hasn’t been pulled suggests a launch is imminent. For a bit more supporting evidence, someone apparently got a little excited because a handful of live shots hit the Web yesterday, including several device-on shots showing off the UI. Barring the horribly lame clownfish wallpaper we sincerely hope was added by the user and not on the handset by default, we’re seemingly looking at a pretty sexy feature phone here — clearly in the same vein as previous Instinct models. Sleek case, nice big touchscreen display, 5 megapixel camera, HD video-out… It’s definitely a solid offering as long as it launches at a decent price. Hit the jump for some more shots with varying levels of blurriness.
It’s here, mobile fans. The moment you’ve been waiting for. The results you’ve been itching for. The numbers you’ve been clamoring for. The… Ok, you get the idea. Last week we asked Sprint subscribers to test their 3G handset speeds and show us what their carrier of choice is made of. Well the results are in and they might just surprise you. So how does the nation’s number three carrier stack up against the big boys? Hit the jump to find out.