BGR confirmed some of the best news BlackBerry could possibly get late last week, but not everyone is convinced that the BlackBerry Z10 will have the same draw in the United States. The nation’s No.3 carrier Sprint (S) recently confirmed to Bloomberg that it will be the only top carrier in the U.S. to pass on BlackBerry’s (BBRY) first next-generation smartphone. Instead, Sprint will wait for the BlackBerry Q10 before it gives the new BlackBerry 10 platform any support. ”We aren’t saying there’s anything different about our customers,” a Sprint spokesperson said. “We think our customers will be happy with the qwerty keyboard and touch screen on the Q10.”
During the three-month period ending in January, Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system once again surpassed iOS in U.S. smartphone sales thanks to the help of an unlikely partner. According to Kantar Worldpanel, Android smartphone sales at Sprint (S) helped the operating system climb 6.4 percentage points to account for nearly half, or 49.4%, of all U.S. smartphone sales. In the same period, iPhone sales dropped 4.7 points from a year ago to make up 45.9% of U.S. smartphone sales, while sales of Windows Phone’s share increased to 3.2%. More →
Even though Sprint (S) could soon have a commanding advantage over its rivals in terms of spectrum holdings, CEO Dan Hesse still isn’t satisfied. Bloomberg reports that Hesse and Sprint are still plotting ways grab more spectrum even if the company succeeds in fully purchasing Clearwire and boosting its total mobile data spectrum portfolio to an industry-leading 184MHz. More →
Even as AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) sail confidently ahead with rising average revenues per user (ARPU) and subscriber levels, several major European mobile carriers continue stumbling badly. Vodafone Spain and Telefonica Spain lost 1.6 million and 3 million mobile subscribers in 2012. Now France Telecom is reporting a stunning 10% decline in mobile ARPU for 4Q12. Markets have been aware of the trend of aggressive challenger operators undermining big behemoths for a long time. Yet it seems that investors are still having trouble wrapping their minds around how bad things are getting. France Telecom’s share price sunk to 2002 levels following its 4Q report. How is it possible that American mega-carriers are doing so well considering that many of their European peers are now on the ropes? More →
2013 will be the year when Sprint’s (S) LTE network becomes truly nationwide. The Verge reports that Sprint has started flipping on its LTE network in parts of New York, Washington DC and San Francisco, three major markets that hadn’t yet been graced with the carrier’s LTE services. Even though Sprint hasn’t made any official announcements about providing LTE in these three markets, a spokesperson told The Verge that the “deployment is just beginning” and that “rather than deploy a site, test the equipment and then turn it off until we launch, we are leaving the sites on and customers are welcome to us the Sprint 4G LTE network wherever they find it.” So if you’re in a neighborhood in New York, DC, or San Francisco where you can get Sprint LTE, it seems the carrier is leaving it up for you to use indefinitely.
J.D. Power and Associates announced that for the fourth consecutive year Verizon (VZ) is the top national wireless provider when it comes to customer care. Verizon took the lead from T-Mobile in 2010 and hasn’t looked back since. The firm found that the carrier’s automated phone service and representatives are superior to its competitors. Verizon scored 766 points out of a possible 1,000, ahead of AT&T (T), Sprint (S), and T-Mobile who scored 759, 746, and 715 points, respectively. The study also found that MetroPCS (PCS) had the highest overall wireless customer care satisfaction among non-contract carriers, with an overall score of 733. J.D. Power and Associates’ report is based on a survey of 7,332 wireless customers during a period from July through December 2012.
The comparison between Christmas 2012 and Christmas 2011 is cruel for Sprint (S). Sprint just reported that it sold 2.2 million iPhones during the Christmas quarter of 2012, 38% of which to new Sprint customers. This sounds fairly impressive. But the problem here is that in the Christmas of 2011, Sprint sold 1.8 million iPhones, with 40% going to new Sprint customers. The iPhone performance simply isn’t improving fast enough to help Sprint in a meaningful way in its battle against the two-headed monster that is Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T). More →
The nation’s No.3 wireless carrier Sprint (S) posted its holiday-quarter results on Thursday, narrowly beating Wall Street’s earnings expectations. Analysts were expecting Sprint to report a loss of $0.46 per share for the fourth quarter on revenue of $8.92 billion. The numbers are now in, and Sprint lost $0.44 per share last quarter, or $1.32 billion, on sales totaling $9 billion. Sprint posted a $1.3 billion loss in the same quarter last year. Sprint said it sold 2.2 million iPhones during the holiday quarter. The carrier added 401,000 net postpaid subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2012, and net postpaid subscriber additions for the year came in at 605,000 including subscribers migrating from the Nextel network. Sprint shares were down 1.21% during Thursday’s pre-market session. The carrier’s full press release follows below. More →
The United States Department of Justice has asked the Federal Communications Commission to defer the planned merger between Sprint (S) and Japanese carrier Softbank (SFTBY), according to Bloomberg. A deferment will give the department more time to review the proposal for “any national security, law enforcement, and public safety issues” that have not yet been evaluated. Sprint agreed to merge with Softbank last October in a deal worth more than $20 billion. Both companies had hoped to have the merger approved by mid-2013.
Here’s how you know that Sprint’s (S) LTE network has become well established: When the company releases a list of new markets that are poised to get 4G service, none of them really qualify as major cities. And that’s the case this week, as Sprint announced that 28 more markets would be getting LTE in the coming months, headlined cities such as Decatur, Ala., Gettysburg, Penn. and Hot Springs, Ark. In all, Sprint has made admirable progress on getting the United States covered ever since its first launch this past summer and the carrier late last year said it had officially launched LTE in 49 markets throughout the country.
Three of the four major nationwide wireless carriers in the U.S. confirmed earlier this week that they have plans to launch phones running Research In Motion’s (RIMM) new BlackBerry 10 platform following its debut later this month. Sprint (S), the fourth major U.S. carrier, did not initially confirm that it will support BlackBerry 10 phones. While the carrier is keeping its plans quiet for the most part, company spokesman Mark Elliot confirmed to BGR that Sprint will launch at least one device powered by RIM’s new operating system in 2013. “Sprint plans to bring BlackBerry 10 to our customers later this year,” Elliot told BGR via email. ”We will share more details soon.” RIM will unveil the finished version of its BlackBerry 10 OS along with two new smartphones — a full-touch handset and a QWERTY device — during a press conference on January 30th.
There are choices on the market if you are looking for prepaid options from Sprint (S). The carrier offers no-contract plans through two subsidiaries, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, and also has roaming deals in place with Republic Wireless, which provides $19-per-month unlimited service. According to alleged internal documents obtained by AndroidPolice, Sprint may be looking to enter the prepaid business itself and offer self-branded no-contract phones to consumers. The carrier will reportedly offer unlimited talk, text and web for $70, however there are a few catches. The prepaid service isn’t available with most Sprint smartphones such as the Galaxy S III and is only compatible with two 3G handsets: The LG (006570) Optimus Elite and Samsung (005930) Victory.
We’ve known for a while now that some mobile carriers have been instructing their sales staff to start pushing their customers away from Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone and toward Android or Windows Phone devices. The reason is simple: carriers pay a lot more to subsidize Apple’s popular smartphone than they do with other devices and they’d prefer to have higher gross margins at the end of each quarter. But now a Tom’s Hardware reader reports that a Sprint (S) representative has taken pushing non-iPhone products to a whole new level and is actually insulting people who insist on buying the device. More →