sprint

Sprint finally responded to the brooha of confusing and contradicting information floating around regarding reported plan changes. They state rather unequivocally that they have no plans to change requirements for those lucky enough to have SERO accounts, regardless of device type (pda, smartphone, etc.) and they won't be changing that in the future.

Phew!

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We already know that the Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrade for the Sprint Touch is due any minute - the unofficially official ROM leak told us that much. Now we know a bit more -- a post in the Sprint Application Developers forum (by way of Gear Diary) spills the beans: “first part of July” is the target. The improvements are about what you'd expect from a full Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrade with GPS support, though we suppose it's worth mentioning that EDVO Rev A, a new communications manager, and “2 icons for rotating the screen” on HTC's launcher will also be included.

'Course, being who we are, now all we want to know is when Sprint will catch up with their neighbors to the north and bring us the HTC Diamond.

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Well looky here - the Sprint Diamond has been caught in the “wild” by ksemt7781 of PPCGeeks. We know it's legit because it comes from Mr. Blurrycam (alright, technically it comes from a Mogul, a distant cousin to Mr. Blurrycam). It looks pretty much identical to the original Touch Diamond we showed you in video and images -- we say “pretty much” because the Sprint Diamond looks to have a bit more of a curve at the top and the bottom and a slightly different skin to TouchFLO 3D -- looks like Sprint's tradition of putting their junk into HTC's custom interface (and HTC's tradition of letting them) has a good chance of continuing.

We put the “wild” in scare quotes because technically it's in testing at Sprint now, we can't wait until it's in testing at WMExperts HQ.

Thanks to Jon for the tip!

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So the big rumor floating around the 'nets these days is that Sprint is set to increase the cost of PDA plans for all smartphones. More specifically, they will require you to sign up for one of their "Simply Everything" plans.

What does that mean? Currently, Sprint users can opt to pay a very reasonable $15 for basic "Power Vision" + Voice plan, which gives them just unlimited data over 3g ($20 and $25 plans include extras).

The "Simply Everything" plan starts at $69 but includes 450 minutes voice, data, text, e-mail, Web-surfing, Sprint TV, Sprint Music, GPS Navigation, Direct Connect and Group Connect (it goes up to $99 for unlimited voice). That's actually a very cool package and very competitive.

The rumor, however, is that anyone buying a new smartphone starting July 13th (that date sound familiar?) will be forced to activate the phone with the minimum $69 plan--even existing customers in contract. And SERO plans may be included as well (Read: What is SERO?).

Yikes.

Unfortunately, there is precedent for this: the much hyped Samsung Instinct requires exactly such a plan, even under SERO.

For "new" customers to Sprint (we've heard they have a couple), these plans are actually quite attractive, but for current subscribers who have a better details...it's flat out scary (e.g. my cost after taxes would nearly triple).

What to do? Well, we'll just have to wait and see we suppose. It's still not clear if doing and ESN swap online will be affected, though it may just be, in which case signing that contract now and buying a new PDA full price won't even save you.

Stay tuned.

Via Sprintusers

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Sprint's AIRAVE going nationwide July 15?

 

Man, oh man, July is getting to be a wee ... bit ... busy ...

After a successful test this spring, Sprint's AIRAVE service is rumored to be going nationwide on July 15, and possibly turning America into one giant cell tower.

AIRAVE hooks into your existing home broadband service and effectively becomes a miniature cell tower, boosting your signal in otherwise poor areas. And unlike T-Mobile's Hotspot @ Home service, Sprint's AIRAVE will work with any Sprint phone (up to three at once) and not just a specialized UMA device.

Dial *99 from your Sprint phone to see if AIRAVE is available in your neck of the woods yet. You'll also need decent line of sight for GPS (for E911) and a free Ethernet port.

But the question remains: Are you willing to spend another $15 a month to increase your own cell signal?

Get the full lowdown at SprintEnterprise.com.

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Sprint and Q9c: EOL'ed or not?

We were more than a little dubious about whether or not the Sprint Q9c was really “End of Life'd” when we reported it on the 19th. After all, Sprint and Motorola had very recently released the Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrade for the device and the only other device in the same class on Sprint's network is the Samsung Ace. The Ace is a perfectly good device (global roaming is always good), but it lacks the power, fit, and finish of the Q9c.

I heard from a Sprint rep at a store that the device was pulled because “there were too many problems with it,” but I chalked that up to just a rep needing to give somebody an explanation. Looks like I'm not the only one, though, as MoDaCo is getting similar reports from their users:

Thank you for your patience, Sprint is trying to get the Moto Q because of all of the problems with the phone.

Ouch. Yet another black eye for Motorola? We still don't know what's really going on here -- we haven't heard anything especially bad about the Q9c. Maybe Sprint just wants to find a way to put yet more Sprint-banded “buy our stuff” applications on the device and so they've pulled it in the interim. Or maybe, just maybe, they're trying to help out their Instinct sales by pulling the competition off the shelves (Update: looks like cadman had the same idea before I did -- see the comments here). Or maybe it's aliens. Yeah, definitely aliens.

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Ahh...right on time for our weekly leak of Treo 800w info and/or blurry spy pics. Not much to say here, just look on with envy or scorn for you square haters. Oh and we now know that it comes with unicorns and puppies. Now are you intrigued?

Note: these are clearly early tester versions, not final release/design. How to tell?
(1) blurred our serial number top right corner (2) not the final paint scheme

Thanks Matthew_Love84!

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8

Sprint Treo 800w date confirmed: July 13th

A ways back we said the date for the much anticipated (well, for a few of us at least) Palm Treo 800w was July 22nd.

Then newer info popped up suggesting it got bumped to July 13th.

Looks like that latter date is turning out to be correct as what looks like to be a scanned inventory sheet for Sprint was posted at HowardForums. The sheet also confirms our scoop that the 800w will sport a button on top of the device to toggle WiFi on/off.

The launch also appears to be available a few days earlier Wed, July 9th for business partners (BP) of Sprint which is not that unusual (Edit: klmsu19 in the comments points out "BP" probably stands for BrightPoint, "a global leader in the distribution of wireless devices and the provisioning of customized logistic services to the wireless industry").

Start saving those bucks as full retail price will be $599.99 and we're expecting it to be $249.99 after contract and rebates.

Oh yeah and don't forget about that Treo 800w giveaway contest ;-) Remember, July 13th and we suppose July 9th are off-limits!

Thanks Commo for the tip!

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Sprint Ready for Two-Way Internet Video?

Although we're wont to complain about how Europeans have it better, coverage and services-wise, than we do here in the states, the reality is we're actually relatively happy with how data goes here -- unlimited FTW. One sore point, though, is that all that unlimited data still can't be used to two-way video conferencing in any widespread or reliable way. Enter Sprint, who is still trying to make the argument that they're not on their way to oblivion.

Cellular-News has the details on how Sprint announced that they will be delivering data speeds fast enough to handle two-way video conferencing. Its said to be used for mainly police, firefighters and schools, but it would only be a matter of time before your average Joe hooked up to some video chat. This all has to go through the red tape of the wireless regulators first, but it looks like it might just make it (hint to other companies: focusing on how your new service will help firefighters a good way to push it through committee). Now all Sprint has to do is get their WiMAX internet up and running smoothly.

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Sprint Motorola Q9c End-of-Lifed?

Alright, Motorola, this just might be the last of many last straws. Or it's the straw that's going to break the camel's back. It's getting so easy to beat up on your lately, it's like you're a straw man. Straw.

The bad news we refer to? EverythingQ is getting reports that not only are you not stocking the Q9c on Sprint's website, but Sprint's reps are saying that it won't be restocked, that it's done. There's nothing coming down the pike that we know of either. Well, there's that “Mystery Q” you let drop in a Promo video, but our shot of it shows that it's clearly a GSM device.

So if the Q9c is really EOL'd for Sprint, is that it? The Q9 series is pretty much the only bright spot you guys have lately and now you're screwing that up, what with the alphabet soup of confusing additions to the Q9 brand and then this? Motorola Q9c, “the c is for C-YA!”

We're hoping not, because finding good news for Motorola lately is like looking for a needle in a haystack (of straw). Here's a hint: that needle would be a re-vamped Q9 with WiFi included, just like that strange Q9h that BGR got ahold of.

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We still don't have any better pics of the finalized version, but evidently Sprint is gearing up their internal promo materials for the Palm 800w (expected in mid July for $249.99) as some lovely 'coolgal' dropped us all the deets. Score.

And since this jives what we've been hearing (and sometimes keeping mum about) for the last few months, we're very confident in the accuracy and even eye numbing detail.

For brevity, we'll just stick to the majors and the new stuff, but click here for coolgal's full list, in case you're really, really curious and our older one here.

Radio - CDMA 800 (Digital Cellular), 1900 (PCS), and 1.5GHz (GPS) - EVDO and 1XRTT

Phone Features - Personal speakerphone - MicroUSB standard B connector (2.0-compliant; for sync cable, charger, and audio accessories) - External antenna port - Microphone mute option - HAC compatible (M4/T4 rating)

Processor technology - TI processor, 333MHz

Expansion - microSD/SDHC card slot

Operating system - Windows Mobile

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Ah...and here I thought I was going to get by this week without posting any Treo 800w info.

Guess not what with a certain something on the down-low wrapping up this week. So good morning to everyone as we have a slathering of rumortastic info for you, including two more traditional blurry shots (see above and below) of the very long awaited Treo 700wx successor, the 800w.

(Fret not Verizon fans...read our earlier post on the Verizon 800w, if you're jonesing)

Keep reading for price, specs and a ton of other info info after the jump...

First up: we're hearing that the 800w will finally drop on Sprint on Sunday, July 13th. That puts it ahead by 9 days our date of July 22nd--curse you Sprint! Well, it still remains to be seen what the final release day will be, but we're getting close. (What, YOU know the date? Well throw her up in our contest thread already! And yes, July 13th is now also off limits for future guessing. So complicated)

The price is $249.99 (of course with "instant savings" and a mail-in-rebate)--if true, that's actually a very sweet price and should enable the 800w to go up RIM quite nicely.

What else can we dig up?

How about the battery is now confirmed at being a not-too-shabby (but hardly hulked out) 1150mah. If that sounds familiar it is because the Palm Centro uses that same size battery and in fact is the exact same battery. Yikes. So similar we are hearing that new Centros have a battery that even says "STD battery for 690/800w". That sure seems convenient for someone.

Oh and those new leaked pictures above? That is still a tester unit (see the blurred out serial). We're still expecting a few more shiny additions to the finalized version, so while the Black Charcoal which we 1st reported is accurate, expect a wee bit more pizazz in a few more weeks ;-)

And last but not least, if you need a re-count of what we know for device specs, here ya go:

  • MSM-6800 chipset
  • ~100mb of Program / ~170mb of Storage Memory (both after OS)
  • WM 6.1 (5.2.1944)
  • ARM1136 processor
  • WiFi
  • Soft touch paint
  • Dedicated Wifi button + Ringer switch on top
  • Micro-USB connector
  • 2.1mp camera
  • No headphone jack (uses microUSB to 3.5mm adapter)
  • 1150mah battery

Plus the usual:

  • 320x320
  • RevA (on release?)
  • GPS (network independent)
  • Palm Threaded SMS

So whaddya think? Palm has a winner or a snoozer here? Sound off!

Thanks to BigChris for the heads up!

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So last week we reported that Sprint, like all the other carriers, will be putting a 5gb/month cap on data use.

Although 5gb is a lot of data and honestly with RevA devices coming around, we sort of understand where Sprint may be concerned. Still, considering they were the last hold outs on such a cap and yet all these companies still do the " * Unlimited Data" asterisks thingy, it was a bit disconcerting.

Kent German at Crave.net has received some clarification from Sprint on the exact details and low and behold, Sprint is actually doing the right thing here: the data cap does not apply to the "Simply Everything" plans; just "Phone as Modem" and Data cards.

Basically, if you're just using your WM device for streaming, etc. you should not have a problem. To be specific, Sprint outlines these restrictions:

  • The vast majority of current users (about 99.5 percent) shouldn't be affected. Whether it's the 300MB roaming limit or the 5GB limit on total data usage, that's enough data to meet the regular monthly usage habits of almost all of our customers.
  • Going over either limit will not cause a card to suddenly stop working.
  • Going over once in a while is OK. We'll check usage using a rolling, three-month basis.
  • Customers would have to exceed the limit in two out of three consecutive months to face termination.
  • Initially, we are contacting customers first, to make them aware of the new limits and give them a chance to change their usage, if they want to continue using the service.
  • We're investigating additional options for customers who need to use more data.
  • Users will be able to check and monitor their total data usage on Sprint.com beginning June 8.
  • The caps are being applied to new and existing consumer and individual-liable accounts, but not corporate-liable, business contracts, Public Sector, or government contracts. We're working on additional processes and pricing to appropriately address the needs of heavy roaming and data users among the corporate liable customer group.

So, not too bad at all. Lets just hope this does not have any side effects for heavy users.

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After rumors of spinning off Nextel, rumors of getting bought out by Deutsche Telekom, and making some sort of weird combination of declaring uncle and making a Hail Mary pass by creating a new, separate WiMAX company... after all that we weren't exactly expecting Sprint to report anything very good about the past three months. We don't want to say it was worse than we expected, because it wasn't. Of course, we were expecting that the entire company would explode like a Death Star with a proton torpedo in its reactor vent shaft, so it would have been pretty tough for them stoop that low.

Their press release has the lowlights:

  • Loss of $253 million on $8 billion in revenue. Revenue was down 9% over last year and last year they made $253 million in profits. So that's bad.
  • Loss of 1.09 million subscribers, the vast majority of whom where standard, “post-paid” subscribers.
  • Their Average Revenue Per User (aka ARPU, who is the angry, vengeful god of wireless carriers) was down 6% over last year as well.

“As expected, our Wireless business delivered weak financial results. While the business will continue to face challenges in the short term, we are making progress in methodically attacking the sources of our performance issues. In the first quarter, we implemented a new, more focused brand campaign, we executed on our plans to take costs out of the business, and we made progress on the larger organizational and strategic decisions that we believe will lead to improved profitability in the long term,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint Nextel CEO

That Treo 800w better get released on July 22nd as expected, both Sprint and Palm are gonna need it.

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Sprint: even more bad news

So as Dieter is n/a today (hanging with some RIM geeks), it pains me to have to take the reigns and write more bad Sprint news articles--but who can ignore such a calamity?

Evidently, to help stem the loss of all that revenue and subscribers, Sprint is doing what every corporation does in that situation: fire..err..layoff people, usually the bottom tier of course (don't get me started on labor issues).

More precisely, they are planning to

  • cut 4,000 jobs
  • close stores
  • lower wireless phone plans

Everything must go! We will not be undersold!

That lowering of price-plans sounds nifty. Then again, if you're sly enough to be on SERO or are another carrier, you probably already noticed Sprint's "other plans" and have decided for other reasons not to sign up (phone lineup, coverage, customer service)--lets be clear, Sprint already has some of the most competitive plans on the block, so it seems odd that lowering them even more will help.

Yikes. Please pull through Sprint as personally I can't take the "other" guys.

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Ah, DSL Reports. That high-speed, mobile and virtual drag-racing website where geeks alike go to compare the speeds of their devices and wage endless carrier wars with each other.

Plus it's also great for seeing unreleased devices pop up on "the grid", so to speak.

In this case we have Palm's highly anticipated Treo 800w (which Dieter and I just love talking about in the latest podcast). Sure, it's hardly ground breaking stuff but with "silly season" upon us for this device, any news, sighting or info gets some of us psyched.

What does the report tell us? Not much. 320x320 resolution, it's on Sprint, it's running Mobile Internet Explorer 7.11. That last bit about MIE 7.11 is also important as IE 7.x is found in WM 6.1, though it is not clear if it's the full new version of Mobile Internet Explorer that Derek "the Master of Mobility, the Wizard of Wireless, the Warlock of Windows Mobile" Snyder showed off a while back with full Flash, Silverlight and h.264 support or the slightly improved (but it's no Opera 9.5) version found in WM 6.1. Time will tell.

Finally, while that speed (475 kbps) ain't bad, it's well below that of EvDO RevA speeds telling us either that device is non-RevA-enabled (as our earlier report suggested) or perhaps there were no RevA towers at that moment.

Thanks to AngelsFan for the tip!

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11

Sprint Treo 800w Release Date (and more info)!

All righty folks, we teased you earlier, now we have the 411: here's when Sprint plans on releasing the Treo 800w:

Tues, July 22nd

Hopefully you put your guess in to our stupendous contest to win one of these bad boys. You can still head on over and make a guess, but July 22nd is now officially off limits for future guessing. Congrats to the lucky folks who already put in for that date, now we see if Sprint can actually make their self-imposed target date (or change it out of spite).

That's not the only inside info we have for you, though. A bit more after the jump!

While the specs and details on the Treo 800w have been pretty well known for awhile now, turns out that there were a few wrong bits and a few bits that needed confirmation. Here's the new skinny:

  • Threaded SMS (looks to be the Palm type, not Microsoft's)
  • WM 6.1
  • Autonomous GPS
  • KB is larger than the Centro, slightly smaller than the 750/755
  • KB keys still light up
  • It's very fast with no lag
  • Official color: Charcoal Black (noyce!)

That's on top of the already other confirmed specs that everyone knows:

  • 320x320 resolution
  • EvDO Rev A (though some tester units are not Rev A active as of now)
  • Wifi
  • 256/128 Memory

Now to throw some water on the speculation fire...

  • no QChat and no QChat smartphones this year from Sprint (boo!)
  • no hardware Wifi switch ala Ringer switch
  • no Picture Mail/MMS yet (though see here for some hope)
  • screen is not flush i.e it's slightly recessed

Interestingly, we're hearing that there are a few different color schemes floating around (silver is the prototype) as well as some models with WM 6.0 and varying firmwares, which is to be expected in the testing phase.

But Sprint and Palm are headed into final testing in the next couple of weeks and at least WM 6.1 and Charcoal Black seem to be a go for July.

In fact, we're expecting a few more changes to the final version, so stay tuned as the details roll in!

Special Thanks to Vyruz Reaper for the assist!

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We have a new twist of events in our WiMAX WaTCH: Sprint, after ditching Clearwire, is back together with them again. That's not the crazy part, though, the crazy part is that Sprint, along with Clearwire, has managed to cobble together $3.2 Billion US in investment to create a band new company, also to be called Clearwire. The money's coming from various sources, inclding Google, Intel, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks.

In other words, it looks like Sprint is dropping XOHM in favor of using this new company (which they'll control 51% of, by the way), though it may be that they'll keep XOHM as the Sprint-branded version of Clearwire's WiMAX services. These services, by the way, will also be available to re-sell to other companies:

“We've made an excellent start developing XOHM WiMAX services. Contributing those advances to a strongly backed new company - in which we'll hold the largest interest - provides Sprint with additional financial flexibility and allows Sprint management to leverage and focus on our core business.
”Additionally, the agreements allowing the new company and our cable company investors to bundle and resell Sprint's third-generation wireless services strengthen the distribution of our current services while reducing the complexity and enhancing Sprint's cable relationships,“ Hesse added. -[Clearwire Press Release]

Given Sprint's many, many woes, it's to be expected that they would do something to shake things up a bit. It remains to be seen whether or not this is the right move, but it smells to us like Clearwire is going to just offer ”big fat pipe“ services for data and voice. We've been begging for that since the inception of WMExperts -- here's to hoping that the new company can offer that.

In any case, it's clear now why Sprint signed a deal to use Google's services on their future handsets, innit?

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Sprint Considering Selling Nextel Off

Another day, another crazy Sprint rumor. First we heard the crazy rumor that T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom was considering a Sprint acquisition. Then Sprint officially announced their spinning off at least a portion of their WiMAX infrastructure into a new company called Clearwire. Now this: the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sprint is also thinking about dumping Nextel ASAP.

No deal is imminent, these people say, characterizing the discussions over Nextel's fate as part of an ongoing strategic review at Sprint. But the fact that Sprint is even contemplating undoing the Nextel merger highlights the problems facing the No. 3 wireless carrier in the U.S. - WSJ.com (reg required for full article)

Anybody else thinking Sprint is getting rid of the stuff they know nobody else is especially interested in as a way to make themselves a juicier buyout target?

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