Not just a bunch of hot air: Sprint Nextel’s iPhone-inspired Samsung Instinct is actually popular, and is actually sold out in some stores. That’s great news for Sprint, which can use any help it can get these days.
Pali Research analyst Walter Piecyk called 100 Sprint stores across 20 markets yesterday: 28 of the stores had 5 or fewer Instincts in stock; of those, and 11 were sold out. It’s apparently popular in LA, where there were only 7 in stock across 5 stores he called. And one store had an Instinct waiting list of 20 customers. (Note: We don’t actually know how many Instincts Sprint has sold, just that it’s in short stock in some places.)
It certainly helps that Sprint (S) cut the Instinct’s price to $129 after rebate — $70 cheaper than it had wanted to charge as recently as June 11, and $70 less than the new iPhone will cost when it launches on July 11. And we’re sure Sprint’s reported $100 million ad campaign is driving extra awareness.
Piecyk thinks (registration required) that the majority of Instinct buyers are existing Sprint customers — not customers Sprint is stealing from rivals AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile. But that’s still good, he says: It means Sprint finally has a phone that it can use to retain high-end customers, which have been fleeing.
We agree, and along those lines, we remind you that the Instinct’s customers are also doing two more things that are great for Sprint:
- Spending a minimum $70 a month on service, which is 25% higher than Sprint’s average. (Excluding pre-paid and Nextel subscribers, who pay less.)
- Paying for (and hopefully using) an all-you-can-eat mobile Web access plan. Carriers desperately want their subscribers to get addicted to the mobile Web. For now, that’s bringing in mobile data service revenue. And someday, it could help bring in mobile ad revenue.
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