May 13, 2010

Customers Clamoring For Sprint 4G Phone

Sprint Nextel says it has a long waiting list of customers waiting to buy HTC Corp's EVO smartphone, its most advanced high-speed phone yet, executives for the company told Reuters.

Sprint is relying on the launch of its first 4G phone to help the company strive forward after a loss of customers.

Depending on the timing of the launch, analysts say EVO should compete well against Apple's iPhone.

Sprint is hoping EVO will give it a head start over market leader Verizon Wireless, which plans to release its first 4G phone in 2011.

"We believe it's going to appeal across a number of fronts," Matt Carter, the head of Sprint's 4G business told Reuters in an interview. He also sees the device as a first step in the company's plan to regain ground lost to Verizon and AT&T, which have both won customers at Sprint's expense for years.

"They've been eating off what they perceived as a dead corpse but we're back," Carter said.

Sprint is also in talks with General Electric and Samsung Electronics about embedding WiMax connections into consumer devices, the executive told Reuters. Carter declined to comment on timing for any products but did say that devices being discussed included everything from e-readers to cameras, and washing machines to medical supplies.

"What we're trying to do here is not think like a traditional carrier, to advance new ways of thinking in the market," he said.

EVO is scheduled for a summer launch, which will run on a high-speed wireless network through Clearwire Corp being built based on the emerging WiMax technology.

Sprint is also launching new prepaid services, head of Sprint's prepaid sector, Dan Schulman, said on Wednesday. Sprint will aim its next prepaid offering at older phone users who want "no nonsense" mobile phone services and do not care about having the latest advanced devices.


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