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Displaying items by tag: Sprint

Wednesday, 05 October 2011 19:40

Apple's iPhone 4S Fails to Impress the Press

LevoniThinSkinJPG_38So Apple had their little press event yesterday. The Hype was there, the buildup was there, and even the usual plethora of rumors was there. However, sadly neither Steve Jobs nor an exciting new product was there. We watched a little bit of the event, but after a while when we did not see the normal euphoric responses from the press we got bored and moved on to something else.

This morning we decided to check out the “morning after” reports and were rather surprised to see that the majority of analysts felt the same way that I did. The reactions went from mildly disappointed to one headline that stated that people should not bother waiting in line for this one. The impact was also felt in Apple’s wallet as their stock prices several point before rebounding, but leaving Apple a little over 1% down from their normal lofty height. In fact at one point during the trading Apple lost close to 13 Billion (with a B) in market value.

Why all of the antics and the sour grapes? Well here is the deal, remember that yesterday we talked about how Microsoft runs on the “build it and they will come” school of business? Well we are actually seeing Apple fall into that. Instead of launching a device that is truly revolutionary Apple gave us a phone that matches the core specifications of phones that have been on the market for months. Yes Apple has caught up to HTC, Samsung, and others in terms of CPU (the dual core A5) and memory. However, Apple failed to match any of them in terms of connection speed. So you are buying a phone that will have an average speed slower than many other phones on the market.

Some of the Apple fans have chimed in with comments saying Apple left of 4G to preserve battery life and other things of that nature, but in reality these are excuses to cover the fact that Apple did not have anything real to offer at this time. The iPhone 4S is a kneejerk reaction to the success of phones like the HTC Evo 3D, the Samsung Galaxy IIS (which Apple is desperately trying to bury) and others. These phones are gaining in popularity for their speed, style, and flexibility. This is driving Apple nuts as they have been used to being the only game in town.

All hope is not lost though. Apple did do something very smart; they are partnering up with Sprint. Before you scoff at that statement I want you to think about one of the biggest complaints about the iPhone in recent years; data plan caps. Anyone remember the outcry when AT&T capped their data plans? Or when Verizon did right after they started offering the iPhone? Both times the actions of these carriers angered their customers. Sprint has already announced that they are going to maintain unlimited data for their new iPhone 4S customers. This is sure to bring in some customers from AT&T and Verizon that are tired of watching their data each month. It will also convert a few exiting Sprint customers that are looking to upgrade from their older Android phones (like the Original EVO and its horrible batter life).

Apple will gain a few new customers and will sell the iPhone 4S to its existing fan base, but in the end this is not a magical or revolutionary device and Apple may find it harder to spin this one and charm the press into thinking it is something more than device to play catch up with the competition. We have our own review (on Sprit) planned for this one and will let you know how it fares against the Dual Core HTC Evo 3D. For now, let’s all sit back and see what Apple does to compensate for the less than stellar response from the press and the market.

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Published in Editorials
Saturday, 17 September 2011 09:07

Sprint Returning to Bad Customer Service?

Sprint-LogoWe have all heard the sad news that Sprint is ending the Premier benefits plans at the end of 2011 or October 1st; no one seems to really know and a call to Sprint will not get you any information. However, what you will get is very interesting and makes the loss of the Premier Benefits seem like less of a blow. Not too long ago I upgraded from an EVO 4G to the EVO 3D using this plan. At the time I asked if this would be available for others on my plan. I was told yes, but my wife wanted to wait to get the 3D so we did not take advantage of it at the time (we were also told we could get an extra line at 6 months in, that still has not happened). Now that the iPhone is coming to Sprint in mid-October the tone and attitude of the employees and sales reps at Sprint have changed. After reading and being told that the Premier benefits end on October 1st my Wife decided to go ahead and upgrade. When she looked online the prices of phones were astonishing. Sprint’s website showed that the account was a Silver Premier member, but the EVO 3D showed as $474! The only credit allotted to the account was $75 off the price of the phone; the RETAIL price of the phone.

We were understandably confused so we called into Sprint where we were told that the Premier benefits only apply to the first or primary number on the account. They are no offered to any other. If you want to get upgrade pricing you have to wait 22 months to get it or you are paying full unsubsidized price for the phone (with that $75 credit). However, this was not what I was told when we signed up for the account nor was it what I was told when I upgraded my phone.  It seems that Sprint has gone back to their old habits of dumping on their long term customers (the very thing that earned them the worst customer service rating in the industry for several years). We know they are prepping for an influx of new iPhone users, but are alienating existing subscribers that will want to get that phone. Even AT&T was not that stupid, but it really appears that Sprint is.

So while we can be sad that the Premier Benefits are going away, it turns out they were very limited to begin with so the loss is not all that major. What is potentially a loss for Sprint will be the loss of existing customers who will want the new iPhone, but will find themselves having to pay full price to get it. I have a feeling that unless Sprint changes their tune rapidly they will find people leaving to go to one of the other iPhone carries shortly after mid-October.

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Published in Editorials
Saturday, 10 September 2011 22:23

AT&T Repsonds to the DOJ Suit with a lot of nothing

ATTWe have said before that Big Corporations in legal battles often sound like little kids on the playground. We yesterday AT&T replied to the Department of Justice’s Anti-Trust suit intended to prevent the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T with an argument that can be best described as Nuh-Uh!
The real response countered that the DOJ just did not understand how much the consumer (pronounce that AT&T) would benefit from this merger.  In fact the actual wording was “(The) complaint similarly fails to depict accurately the state of competition in mobile telecommunications today, the dynamic nature of the wireless industry, or the pro-competitive and pro-consumer impact of this transaction”.

Personally I think the DOJ hit the nail on the head when they stated that allowing AT&T to control 63% of the nation-wide market and ALL of the GSM traffic in the US is both anti-completion and severely anti-consumer. AT&T further states that they need TY-Mobile to prevent spectrum issues (AT&T has more of the spectrum that any other company as it is).  AT&T continues to want to look at things on a local level where there are numerous local competitors, but on a national scale those local companies sink into the word work where only four remain open.

Additional arguments by AT&T claim that T-Mobile is in financial trouble and blocking the merger will not help them and in turn hurt their customers. In short the response was not a response as it brought no new information to the table and only makes the very childlike proclamation of “You Don’t Get it”.
Further proof of this can be found in an e-mail that was sent with the response stating that AT&T will work with the DOJ to address their concerns with this merger.  We have previously talked about what type of concessions AT&T might have to make to get by the DOJ’s objections, but with a new suit filed by Sprint it might not be up to the DOJ any more….

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Published in News
Tuesday, 06 September 2011 23:33

Update on the AT&T-T-Mobile Merger

ATTNow it is time for the AT&T&T-Mobile news. It seems that competitor Sprint has opted to file a lawsuit in opposition to the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. This really should surprise no one as Sprint has never agreed with the deal in the first place. The suit filed by Sprint covers the same ground that the one filed by the DOJ does. You know the drill; it is bad for consumers, removed choice from the market and creates a douopoly (which sounds like a fun board game). Of course AT&T was quick to issue a statement saying that Sprint is only looking out for themselves (No kidding, really?) and that they are no concerned with consumers and how much they will benefit from this merger (of course they never really detail those benefits).  Pretty much Sprint said AT&T was a big bully and AT&T said “Nuh-Uh!” it really is like watching kids argue on the playground.

Other reports suggest that AT&T might not be worried because if the revisions cost them more than 20% of the original deal, then they might get some money off the price tag for T-Mobile. It things hit 40% of the original sticker price then AT&T can walk owning only 3 Billion to T-Mobile for their troubles. So really AT&T is not going to be worried they are in something of a win-win. Sure the merger is their goal (and they will lobby for it), but they still have lots of options. I really wonder what the outcome of this all will be, but I do hope that someone up there in Washington has some common sense and can see just how bad for consumers a deal like this could be.

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Published in News
Tuesday, 12 July 2011 22:08

Sprint's EVO 3D from HTC hits our lab

3d-10Not too long ago I made a comment about the iPhone losing ground in the smart phone market. Not too long after that I started looking at the mobile phone market; not because I was trying to find some information about on smartphone purchases, but because I was interested in a new phone. The phone I was replacing is one of the most popular Android based phones on the Market. It was actually one that many people went to after the issues with the iPhone 4 (the grip of death). In fact that is how I ended up with my HTC EVO 4G from Sprint. The phone that caught my eye was another HTC phone. This was the HTC EVO 3D. This is a dual core high performance phone with a 3D Screen that does not need glasses to view.  So I went out and picked one up, let’s see if it was worth the money and time.

Published in Gadgets
Thursday, 05 August 2010 09:29

WiMax, LTE-Advnaced. Does it really matter?

evo4gRecently there was an announcement that Intel is pulling out of WiMax in Taiwan.  Now, this is pretty big news as Intel was one of the major proponents of WiMax and was in alliance with more than a few companies to see this project to its completion. The Taiwanese are not happy about this and are now there are rumblings that they are thinking of heading over to ARM to help them complete what they started. But those are just rumors at this stage of the game. After all Intel has not said they will not live up to their side of the deal ($500 Million towards building a WiMax network) they have only closed their offices in Taiwan. There are, however, indications that they are indeed getting ready to drop WiMax. Less than a month ago they released Clearwire from their exclusivity agreement. This agreement would have kept Clearwire tethered to WiMax until 2011. This is good news really as it now allows Clearwire (the provider of 4G service to Sprint in the US) to look into other options for rolling out their 4G service.
But why would Intel do this? The answer is an easy one; the recent settlement with the FTC. In fact if you look back at this one the writing has been on the wall for some time.

Published in Editorials
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