It’s no secret that cellular carrier Sprint has been struggling for a bit. No buyout news at the moment, but in an effort to raise some cash the company will be selling off some of its cellular towers to private equity company TowerCo.
The exact number of towers hasn’t been finalized, but it’s expected to be around 3,300 which would be most of the towers they own.
The deal could get Sprint around $670 million, which could be used to pay down some of its $24 billion debt and I’d imagine another chuck of it will go towards it’s WiMAX venture with Clearwire.
In order to keep it’s cell business open, Sprint will lease back use of the towers from TowerCo but no lease prices were mentioned.
Look for more info on the deal to be announced within the next 90 days.
Korean communications company SK Telecom has announced that they are in talk with US cell carrier Sprint about acquiring the struggling company.
Sprint is currently the third largest cell carrier in the US, so the move would give SK Telecom a pretty big footprint in the US assuming there wouldn’t be a regulations issues with foreign ownership of the company.
What would SK Telecom do to revive Sprint? We may get to find out.
If you are in the market for an inexpensive cellphone but want more than just a basic model, the price of the Palm Centro with AT&T has dropped $30.
Now, after rebates and signing a new two-year contract with AT&T, the Centro can be yours for $70.
I can’t say I’m a fan of Palm devices lately, but if you’re in the market for an inexpensive smartphone it might be worth checking out.
UK cell carrier O2 recently began a pre-order program for the upcoming iPhone 3G to allow current customers a shot at securing one before it releases on Friday.
Apparently response was VERY high and the 16GB version quickly sold out and the 8GB version followed before long.
Any still interested in getting an iPhone 3G from O2 is told to “Come back on 10 July for more information.”
Maybe more stock will be made available? We’ll see, I suppose.
To watch the page for yourself check it out here.
Thanks to Bell Canada, Canadian cellphone users will soon be able to get their hands on the Samsung Instinct touchscreen handset that’s been reviewing so well. If they don’t mind using Bell Canada.
The Instinct will have the same custom interface as the US version so it will compete pretty well against the iPhone 3G coming to Rogers, but Bell Canada is hoping to best Rogers with their data plan pricing.
Look for the Instinct to be available in stores in Canada on August 8th for $150 with a three-year contract , $250 with a two-year contract, $400 with a one-year contract, and $450 without any contract.
According to Phone Arena, they’ve managed to get their hands on Verizon’s release schedule for phones they’ll be offering this year.
If this info is accurate, here’s what you can expect to see from them:
- CDMA versions of the Touch Diamond and Touch Pro will be coming, possibly under the Verizon name (no date mentioned)
- Motorola Blaze should be out before September 22nd under the model number ZN4 (the ZN indicates that it will be a multimedia phone)
- Motorola VU30 will appear before the Blaze, probably in mid August
- Nokia 2605 under the name Mirage should be out on August 8th.
- Nokia 7205 Intrigue (no date mentioned)
- Palm treo 800w (no date mentioned)
- Samsung SCH-U310 (no date mentioned)
- Samsung SCH-U430 in late August
- Samsung SCH-U440 on August 8th
- UTStarcom TXT8010 in August
Again, just a rumor for now. We’ll see if any of these pan out.
Sprint put a lot of money into promoting the new Samsung Instinct touchscreen phone and so far so good–the Instinct is the best selling EV-DO device ever resulting in product shortages in some parts of the country.
John Garcia, president of Sprint’s Wireless Division, says “we had high expectations going into the launch so our initial order to Samsung was the largest for any Sprint EVDO handset to date.”
According to some Sprint customers who presumably were not paid for their comments and purchased for the device like good boys and girls, even though their comments appear in the press release itself, it’s a hit:
- It’s awesome. I have been a Sprint customer for six years. This device offers every single Sprint feature down to the smallest and jam-packs them all into one device. It is just an amazing device. – William Leak, Millville, NJ
- Instinct offers easy access to everything I need when I’m traveling or at work… even my music! It’s everything I want in a phone and more. – Stanley Long, Philadelphia, PA
- I purchased it because it’s the hottest phone out there and I love the huge screen. – Stephan Boyett, West Orange, NJ
- I was out of contract and stayed with Sprint because of this phone! Also your everything plan includes everything, not like AT&T. – Daphne Wilson, White Plains, NY
- I was blown away the first time I saw the device. The more I play with the device, the more I love it. – Jennifer Hayes, Edison, NJ
For more info check out the entire press release here.
According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, Sprint and China Mobile are each experiencing delays with their Android-based handsets and don’t expect them to launch until 2009.
T-Mobile, another carrier working on an Android-based phone, says that their device is still on track for a 2008 launch but if the others are delayed there’s a decent chance that theirs will miss launching in 2008 as well.
The reasons for the delays at Sprint seem to be that they want to ship their device with some of their own applications pre-installed instead of just using Google’s default system. Sprint may also be skipping 3G and jumping right to 4G (WiMAX) support, but that’s not official yet.
Over at China Mobile the delays seem to be wanting to install their own pre-installed applications as well as some difficulty with translating Android’s interface into Mandarin.
No word yet from Google on these rumored delays.
I wouldn’t say that Android is DOA, but these delays are pretty disappointing if they prove true. I’m sure we’ll see Android-based devices actually ship by mid 2009 (hopefully earlier), but with the iPhone, iPhone 3G, BlackBerry Bold and touchscreen BlackBerry Thunder how relevant will Android-based devices be?
Google doesn’t like to lose, but neither does Apple and RIM. I could see Android as more of a threat to Windows Mobile-based devices than to those by either Apple or RIM.
Good news if you’ve been anxiously awaiting Sprint to get the new Samsung Instinct handset–it will be hitting stores this Friday, June 20th, and sell for $129.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate for signing a new 2-year contract.
You will need two of Sprint’s Simply Everything plans to activate the phone. By “Everything” they mean unlimited mobile Internet and messaging, not voice.
$69.99 gets you 450 minutes of talk-time and $89.99 gives you 900.
If you really want “Everything” including unlimited voice, you’ll need the $99.99 plan.
For more info about the Instinct check out this site.
The upcoming BlackBerry Bold is expected to hit AT&T in the US sometime in July (although August is still a possibility), but according to a couple of tips Boy Genius Report received the Bold could be hitting Rogers Wireless in Canada even sooner.
If this is true hopefully we’ll have official confirmation from Rogers soon.
A LOT of people are very excited to get their hands on the Bold, which apparently went in to production a while ago and its software build is extremely stable, so when it comes out is apparently completely up to the carriers at this point.