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Sprint CEO says iPad helpful, unusually mum on iPhone

updated 07:55 am EDT, Fri October 29, 2010

Sprint CEO Hesse says iPad a boon, odd on iPhone

Sprint has been reaping the rewards of the iPad even without an official deal, carrier chief Dan Hesse said in an interview that also raised eyebrows over iPhone discussions. The CEO noted that most iPads were Wi-Fi versions and that he had seen a boost to sales of the Sierra Wireless Overdrive. The pocket router is good for getting the iPad online away from home, he told GigaOM. It can connect to either 3G or 4G and share its connection with four other devices, none of which are options with the iPad's built-in 3G.

When the iPhone was mentioned off-hand as not having been linked to Sprint, however, Hesse grew unusually silent on the subject. He both opted out of commenting on the iPhone itself and of commenting on relationships with third parties. Carriers routinely decline talking about deals but don't usually respond so actively to off-hand remarks.

Sprint has only been incidentally linked to the iPhone as most leaks have connected a CDMA version to Verizon, whose twice-as-large customer base has made it a much more obvious target for iPhone expansion. Sprint is nonetheless very friendly to Android, having launched three new models just this month, and as the third-largest network may be an option for Apple to help shut down competition from Google.

The carrier is for now focusing on Android devices, including its flagship HTC Evo 4G and Samsung Epic 4G, as well as BlackBerry phones like the imminent BlackBerry Style. About 60 percent of all Sprint phones sold are now smartphones, and 45 percent of the core Sprint user base owns one of the more capable handsets. Only its prepaid brands like Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile are still dominated by basic phones, although these too have recently seen Android take hold through the Motorola i1 and Samsung Intercept.

by MacNN Staff



  1. gmsquires

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sprint's Overdrive MiFi

    I am seriosuly considering getting an Overdrive unit for my iPad which only has wifi. I also have an iPhone, but wouldn't consider Sprint if they did offer the iPhone because their coverge is less than ideal in the SF Bay area compared to ATT or Verizon. The main advantage for the Overdrive is that it will connect with their 4G network which is being built out here in the SF Bay area. It is now scheduled to be active by years end. One thing to consider is if your employer has a business discount with any carrier. Mine will get me the Overdrive for a reduced cost for the unit as well as unlimited 4G data coverage for a reduced cost. I had considered dumping my 3G iPhone with ATT as the contract expires in 12/10, but decided to upgrade to the 4G as ATT's service is better with it. I had thought of using Sprint's Overdrive with my IPad and using some VOIP or Skype service as a phone with all the added benefits that the iPad offers when the new iOS 4 comes out. I still may do that as a secondary ofption when I can't get ATT service reception.

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