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Sprint: The Pre Didnt Work Out

In one of the “no duh” statements of the year, Sprint’s chief financial officer told the Wall Street Journal that “the Palm Pre didn’t work out as well as we’d hoped.” But on a brighter note, in an investor conference Monday, Robert Brust said his company’s worst revenue declines are in the rearview mirror.

Declines are narrowing, Brust said, as Sprint has been able to offer more handsets, cheaper pricing plans and better customer service. He is hopeful that the company can get back to making money by the end of 2010.

Customer churn is still a problem, Brust said; however, the number of customers Sprint is adding is a good harbinger. Prepaid has made up for a lot of recent postpaid defections. Sprint Prepaid President Dan Schulman told the investors that it’s too early to determine how successful the company’s new brand and offering are doing.

The nation’s third-largest carrier is looking ahead to new technology. Brust expects to see growth as 4G continues to roll out with its partner, Clearwire. And there is hope that the HTC Evo, which Sprint is expected to launch in June, will sell much better than the Palm Pre did. The Evo is the first 4G cell phone in the U.S.

The Pre debuted with a lot of hype last summer as a Sprint exclusive, but was plagued by poor sales, which contributed to Palm being bought out by a more financially secure HP.


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