Samsung still makes Windows Phones. You might not know it since the company doesn’t seem to make much of an effort to actually sell them, but it does. And according to an announcement on Wednesday from Sprint, the company’s latest Windows Phone 8-powered handset will go on sale this Friday, August 16th. $149.99 will get Sprint subscribers a new two-year contract and a Samsung ATIV S Neo, which features a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 16GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, microSDXC support and a removable 2,000 mAh battery. Additional details follow below in Sprint’s press release. More →
With SoftBank undoubtedly eager to get this first Sprint report since its acquisition out of the way, Sprint on Tuesday night posted its results for the second quarter. Sprint’s Q2 2013 wireless service revenue climbed 8% to a record-high $7.2 billion and operating revenue totaled $8.87 billion, but that certainly wasn’t enough to distract attention from the $1.6 billion net loss it posted as the Nextel network was finally shuttered, a decline from the $1.4 billion net loss it reported in the same quarter last year. Sprint says it recaptured about 4 million Nextel subscribers as the service was discontinued. The carrier’s press release follows below. More →
Last week, Bloomberg reported that T-Mobile is about to announce the first quarter of contract subscriber growth since 2010. The timing of the Bloomberg bombshell was interesting, because just one day later Sprint unveiled new contract pricing. Sprint brought down the price of its cheapest mobile plan featuring unlimited data from $110 to $80. This new contract is fairly similar to the $70 unlimited plan T-Mobile launched last March. If T-Mobile has discovered new traction with its bargain plan — and if Sprint is now feeling pressure to mimic the emphasis on budget customers — it could be a sign that the U.S. mobile market is in trouble. More →
How do you put your company in the best possible position to grow when you’ve seemingly squeezed customers as much as they can possibly be squeezed? Squeeze them some more. As smartphone sales begin to peak and service revenue growth slows among top U.S. carriers, these giants have no choice but to look elsewhere for growth. In some cases, they’ll turn to fees. AT&T, for example, recently found a way to milk subscribers for an extra $500 million each year by adding a $0.61 “administrative fee” to every bill. As we have previously noted, consumers should expect to see more tiny fees pile up in the coming months and years. Now, carriers have found some new tricks to bolster revenue growth by promoting handset trade-in programs and by convincing users to upgrade their devices more frequently. More →
Sprint on Thursday announced it will be launching a new plan that will offer unlimited talk, text and data to customers for “the life of the line of service.” The plan will offer unlimited everything for only $80 per month. Sprint also announced a new “Unlimited, My Way” plan that will allow customers to customize a plan to their liking. The carrier will allow families to mix smartphones with basic phones and select different data options for up to 10 lines on a single account. The unlimited guarantee plans will be available to both new and existing customers starting on Friday, July 12th. Sprint’s press release follows below. More →
Sprint on Tuesday announced the upcoming availability of the HTC 8XT, the carrier’s first Windows Phone 8 device. The handset is equipped with a 4.3-inch display, a 1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor and an 8-megapixel rear camera. It also includes 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, 4G LTE connectivity, a microSD slot with support for up to 64GB memory cards and a 1,800 mAh battery. In addition to Beats Audio, the HTC 8XT is the first Windows Phone 8 device to feature HTC BoomSound with dual front-facing stereo speakers and a dedicated amplifier. Sprint will launch the HTC 8XT on July 19th for $99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and new two-year agreement.
Sprint on Tuesday announced that it has completed its acquisition of wireless wholesaler Clearwire. The FCC approved the merger last week and Clearwire shareholders voted in favor of Sprint’s offer of $5 per share on Monday. The acquisition of Clearwire will help Sprint, and new owner SoftBank, offer faster downloads speeds in more locations throughout the United States. It will also help the company better compete with AT&T and Verizon, while fending off increased competition from T-Mobile and its newly acquired MetroPCS. Sprint’s press release follows below. More →
SoftBank’s credit has been downgraded following the FCC’s approval of its acquisitions of Sprint and Clearwire, which SoftBank said it expects to close on July 10th. Standard & Poor’s cut the company’s credit rating from a BBB grade to a BB+ junk rating, Bloomberg reported. The agency citied SoftBank’s “exposure to intense competition in the U.S. market,” which is “unlikely to subside substantially in the next two to three years.” It noted, however, that it expects Sprint’s “operating performance to improve gradually” due to cost reductions and “other merger benefits.” A lower credit rating means there is a higher chance a company will default on its loans, which ultimately raises borrowing costs. Sprint shareholders last month agreed to SoftBank’s proposal of $21.6 billion in cash and stock for an 80% stake in the company.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Friday approved SoftBank’s acquisition of Sprint. The agency also gave Sprint the green light to purchase the remaining 49% of Clearwire it did not already own. Sprint shareholders previously approved SoftBank’s offer of $21.6 billion in cash and stock for an 80% stake in the company. The carrier’s deal to acquire the rest of Clearwire will give current Clearwire shareholders $5 per share and will value the company at approximately $14 billion. Clearwire shareholders are scheduled to vote on Sprint’s proposal on July 8th, and Sprint said it believes both transactions will close later this month. The company’s press release follows below. More →
Samsung has hired a former Sprint executive to oversee operator sales at its American offices, FierceWireless reported. Danny Bowman was named the chief sales and operations officer at Samsung Telecommunications America on Tuesday. In addition to being in charge of operator sales and operations, the executive will also head the company’s long-term strategic initiatives. Bowman was previously a longtime employee at Sprint, where he helped create its integrated solutions division. He was one of several executives who were let go from Sprint in early 2012 as part of the carrier’s restructuring plan. Bowman isn’t the first Sprint executive to be hired by Samsung. The company previously hired Kevin Packingham, Sprint’s former senior vice president of product and technology development, who is now Samsung Mobile’s U.S. chief product officer.
Long-struggling wireless carrier Sprint is about to get a much-needed dose of good news. Unnamed sources tell Bloomberg that a majority of commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission support SoftBank’s $21.6 billion acquisition of Sprint, thus paving the way for Sprint to have the investment resources it needs to compete with rivals Verizon and AT&T. Bloomberg’s sources also say that the FCC’s approval will cover Sprint’s full acquisition of similarly troubled wireless wholesaler Clearwire, which will give Sprint a large bounty of spectrum that it can use to expand its LTE network throughout the United States. Sprint shareholders approved the SoftBank merger last week so the FCC’s final approval is the last big hurdle that the companies need to formally finish their merger, which SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has projected will be completed this month.
A New York Supreme Court judge has denied Sprint’s request to dismiss a $300 million lawsuit that claims the carrier knowingly failed to pay New York sales taxes, Bloomberg reported. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused Sprint of not collecting and paying sales taxes on some of its flat-rate access plans. The company’s neglect allegedly cost state and local governments more than $100 million. Wireless carriers must collect and pay sales taxes for plans that have a set number of minutes and a fixed monthly charge. Schneiderman alleges that Sprint didn’t pay some of its taxes to stay competitive with rivals AT&T and Verizon, both of which paid their New York sales tax bills in full.
It has taken a while but SoftBank looks like it’s finally about to acquire Sprint. The Hill reports that the Federal Communications Commission appears poised to sign off on both SoftBank’s acquisition of Sprint, and on Sprint’s acquisition of wireless wholesaler Clearwire. With those two acquisitions in place, Sprint will have both the strong financial backing and the strong spectrum position it needs to challenge AT&T and Verizon. Sprint’s shareholders approved the SoftBank merger just three days ago so the FCC’s final approval is really the last hurdle that the companies need to formally finish their merger, which SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has projected will be completed in July.