Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Sprint Gearing Up to Offer Services on the iPhone

One of the challenges for carriers that sell the iPhone is that it is a lot harder for them to put their stamp on that phone compared with other devices.

With other operating systems — Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone — carriers are able to include their logo on a phone, bundle their own apps and services, and do other things to clearly put their brand on the device.

On the iPhone, though, there are far fewer opportunities for customization, as Apple tightly controls how the devices are packaged, marketed and shipped to consumers.

That’s something Sprint is now adjusting to, having finally landed the device after years of being on the outside looking in. Still, with competition fierce for iPhone customers, Sprint is working to find ways to stand out — including bringing its own service to the iPhone.

In an interview at Sprint’s developer conference in Santa Clara on Thursday, VP Kevin McGinnis said that the Sprint Zone app should be ready for download before the end of the year; other services, such as Sprint TV, will follow shortly thereafter.

“Our customers see us as a trusted adviser,” McGinnis said.

Much of the battle over iPhone marketing among carriers is centered around pricing and features, with AT&T touting speed and capability to talk and surf; Verizon pitching its network quality; and Sprint pointing to its unlimited data plans.

But services and apps can also help the carriers stand out from one another.

As is the case with other providers, though, Sprint will have to convince customers to download its apps, since it can’t preload them on Apple’s iOS as it does on other platforms.

Of course, that’s a far better problem to have than the prior one — not having the iPhone at all.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald