One of Sprint Nextel’s biggest problems over the years has been that it’s been passed up by mobile phone makers for all the hottest phones. This started with the Motorola RAZR five years ago and continued until recently.
But Sprint finally has a smartphone lineup worth looking at, which is good news.
Its latest addition will start selling next month: The Google Android-powered HTC Hero, which, while overpriced, is a nice looking gadget. Sprint also sells RIM’s newest QWERTY BlackBerry, the Tour. And it has an exclusive to sell Palm’s Pre until at least the end of the year. The Pre is one of the best smartphones on the market.
So, no iPhone, which means Sprint still doesn’t sell the top smartphone. And maybe this year, larger rival Verizon will luck out with a better BlackBerry Storm 2, or Motorola’s forthcoming Google phone.
But for Sprint and CEO Dan Hesse, it’s definitely an upgrade over last Christmas, when the carrier was pushing the crappy Samsung Instinct and a bunch of uninspiring handsets.
Will the new lineup bring over new customers from other carriers? Not in droves. But it could help Sprint retain more of its current customers, which has been its biggest problem.
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