Talking tech since 2003

Just a matter of months ago the Internet was flooded with constant and never-ending rumors that wireless carrier Verizon would partner up with consumer electronics giant Apple to make the ever so popular iPhone 4 available on the Verizon network.  And come January of this year, the much awaited for announcement was made and shortly thereafter the Verizon iPhone was in the hands of countless eager customers.  When this news first broke I was overcome with joy; not because I too was planning to run out and get my hands on a Verizon iPhone, but rather I simply found harmony in the fact that the official Verizon iPhone debut would put an end to all of the rumors and speculation.

Now here we are more than six months later, and the Verizon iPhone has yet to put AT&T out of business.  In fact, Verizon’s 3G network – the one that many though would be exponentially faster than that of AT&T – was found to deliver speeds slower that what customers were getting with AT&T.  Slap in the face, much?  But even with the Verizon iPhone now a reality the rumor mill has still been spinning with new suggestions that wireless carrier Sprint will soon be making the iPhone 4 available to their customers.  Like deja-vu, we’re seeing the whole Verizon story play out all over again.  And in all honesty I think that even if Sprint gets their hands on the iPhone the company likely won’t be a major competitor to either AT&T nor Verizon.

Simply put, Sprint has a number of problems of their own.  While the company has excellent service reception in some areas, even to the point where they outperform both AT&T and Verizon, the fact of the matter is that Sprint’s nationwide coverage just isn’t up to par.  Look at Sprint’s coverage map, and notice all of the areas that are either considered “roaming” or where no service is offered at all.  A lot of blank spots, right?  Now, I’m not saying that AT&T’s coverage or that of Verizon is perfect either, but the fact of the matter is that Sprint seems to come out of the bottom.

Of course the number of people who would have problems with signal strength is going to be somewhat low because of the fact that cellular companies like Sprint focus on getting service to more densely populated (urban) areas instead of investing resources on areas with fewer users.  Regardless, I can say as a Sprint customer that I’d hate to be stuck in a bad part of town with only my Sprint phone in-hand.

I will say, though, that if there’s one thing that Sprint did right in the past few years the acquisition of Nextel would hands-down be one of the best moves that the company has made.  This is because Nextel was a wireless carrier that offered more business-catered services that allowed small and medium enterprises to communicate more effectively in the field.  Yes, I’m talking about the push-to-talk walkie talkies.  So when the deal was closed in late 2005, Sprint inherited many large business and corporate accounts.

Though as time passed, Sprint Nextel lost their business-focused edge to companies like AT&T who were able to offer more feature-rich handsets that better served the needs of business users.  You guessed it; the iPhone.

But really, I don’t think a Sprint iPhone would bring very many users back to Sprint.  If anything, the Sprint iPhone would simply help to prevent current Sprint customers from going elsewhere.  Really, I doubt much would change.


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