Sprint Print Ad

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    Posted: 26 June 2009 11:47 PM


    This one is reminiscent of the I’m an Mac Vs PC ads.

    And this time, our guy is the PC character. It really is an DUMP ATT and go SPRINT ad.


    “Even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit. . ” —#162 Ferengi: Rules of Acquisition

  • Posted: 27 June 2009 12:44 AM #1

    What other choice does Sprint have than to run comparison ads? They are betting on the Pre revive the company’s fortunes. It won’t work as well as the firm might like.

  • Posted: 27 June 2009 01:10 AM #2

    This approach seems like a mistake to me.  I doubt you’ll find iPhone users are willing to give it up.  In addition,saying that the iPhone won’t run multiple applications at the same time may open Palm to a bit of a truth in advertising problem.


    I don’t mind being wrong…,I just hate being wrong so FAST!

  • Posted: 27 June 2009 02:12 AM #3

    I don’t know from what data they pulled the cost comparisons, but I just priced four Pres on a family plan and I’d go broke with the monthly service costs. Comparatively, the four iPhones I have on the AT&T family plan is a screaming deal compared to what Sprint offers.

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    Posted: 27 June 2009 08:26 AM #4

    TanToday - 27 June 2009 02:47 AM


    This one is reminiscent of the I’m an Mac Vs PC ads.

    And this time, our guy is the PC character. It really is an DUMP ATT and go SPRINT ad.


    Did you read the ad copy?

    Let’s have a look shall we?

    The Palm Pre does things the iPhone can’t. Run multiple applications at the same time with real-time updates…

    Just like the iPhone except you can only run multiple apps that Apple approve. The multi-tasking thing is a lost leader - no WONDER you need a spare battery with the pre - looks like 2 - 3 hours when you try and use this “unique” feature.

    Have you used notifications? It works very well indeed - chat programs were doing everything in real time - I had to turn it off as it got annoying - but it works.

    and even save $1,200 over two years.

    Had to split that opening sentence as it had two different run on points that were not related to each other but hey.

    Firstly that is UP TO $1,200 if you use both service providers unlimited everything plan - I think they are comparing 99 bucks to AT&T’s 149. A lot of people can get away with the 60 bucks iphone plan though and that would save an additional 960 on the Sprint plan quoted.

    It’s the perfect time to join the Now Network: America’s most dependable 3G network, bringing you the first and only wireless 4G network from a national carrier.

    All well and good, save for the fact that the Pre doesn’t use this “4G” network. Classic example of bait and switch. The are trying to tell their customers that there is something technically - hey - a generation better with the Pre - but it is bollocks. The 4g network has nothing to do with the Pre in any way, shape or whatever.

    So. What are we left with? A full page ad for a phone which shipped 50k this first week out of the gate and had a running total of 150k when Apple shipped 1 million iPhone 3GS machines in one weekend. So Roger MacNamee’s quote:

    June 29, 2009, is the two-year anniversary of the first shipment of the iPhone. Not one of those people will still be using an iPhone a month later. Think about it?if you bought the first iPhone, you bought it because you wanted the coolest product on the market. Your two-year contract has just expired. Look around. Tell me what they?re going to buy.

    Is looking pretty lame right now as a million of them rushed out to buy… an iPhone. Of course that is a million customers that sprint / pre are NOT going to get.

    But anyway let’s now turn our attention to your original point tan.

    “This one is reminiscent of the I?m an Mac Vs PC ads.”

    It isn’t at all reminiscent of the “I’m a Mac Vs PC” ads. It’s reminiscent of basic name calling with, if you have read this post, a lot of grey area marketing rubbish to back up their “facts”. Face it Palm lost the original battle when ex CEO Ed Colligan said:

    We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone, PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.

    It meant that they didn’t have the DNA to work out what Apple were going to do. Worse than that they then go poach members of the VERY company that were “not going to figure this out” and they have now done a Next takes over Apple deal with Apple taking over Palm.

    However this is a bitter shard from Apple where basically the guys who felt their ideas were being trodden on by Steve Jobs took their ball away and did their own thing.  Well good luck to them but they are still hemorrhaging money as per their report last Thursday - and the window is pretty tight at the moment and closing fast.

    “And this time, our guy is the PC character. It really is an DUMP ATT and go SPRINT ad”

    And how’s that working out? When Apple stop the exclusive carrier agreement with AT&T then most things are dead. Looks like everyone is racing to where the puck is. No one, save Apple, knows where it is going to be. Bear that in mind.

    BTW slightly off topic - how’s the Pre working out for you Tan?



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    Posted: 27 June 2009 10:44 AM #5

    Nice analysis Rattyuk.

    I always love the fact that all the pundits claim the iphone does not multitask.  It is simple to say but simply untrue.  The iphone provides limited multitasking otherwise you could not listen to the IPOD while browsing the web or browse the web while on a phone call.  Apple does not allow 3rd party applications to multitask and I think this was a wise engineering choice.  The original Iphone has 128MB of RAM and this is probably the key constraint along with battery life holding back multitasking.  I would expect multitasking to appear with the next major Iphone OS release.  The problem is the old 1st and 2nd generation hardware will not provide a great multitasking experience if Apple opens the floodgates.  That said some applications cry out for multitasking.  Turn by Turn Navigation and background music are two that jump out at me.  As far as the PRE competing with the Iphone, it is good that someone commercialize some great interface ideas to apply pressure to the Apple juggernaut, but I will wait to see the sales numbers before declaring victory.  The folks from Palm like to compare themselves to the Iphone because it generates buzz, and they have a nice device to compare to Iphone 3G but at twice the price I don’t think many will be buying the hype.  As far as comparison to the Iphone 3GS, I think Palm still has a long way to go in many categories so they focus on the only areas where it is not obvious that Apple’s iphone is better.

  • Posted: 27 June 2009 02:29 PM #6

    There is, of course, one other major mistake in the ad. The first iPhones sold were not subsidized. There’s no contract to expire. The ad firm didn’t do its homework. In other words, there aren’t hundreds of thousands (or million) of domestic iPhone customers with expiring contracts at this time.

  • Posted: 27 June 2009 11:22 PM #7

    So, I am in line at the ammunition counter in a major sporting goods store today when the 40-something guy in front of me whips out his iPhone.  I admire it and ask him how he likes it.  Big smile.  “Do you ever wish it had multi-tasking?”, I ask.

    “I don’t know what that is, but I have had this phone for a year now and it is the greatest thing I have ever owned in my life and that includes my guns and my truck.”

    My obvious point is that even if Palm’s multi-tasking did not have the inherent disadvantages that caused Apple to forego it, most people don’t need or want it anyhow.

    Apple is good at marketing; in my opinion they are great at marketing.  Putting features into a product just because you can or just because a bunch of techies will think it is cool is an amateur move and something Apple outgrew long ago.  Just about the time SJ came back.  Likewise it is astute of Apple to place so much importance on battery life.  As AFBers know, it is all about the customer experience.

    What I find fascinating about this ad is that it seems to confirm that iPhone is the target of the Pre.  This could be an error.  Perhaps they should be using their limited advertising resources to target people who have become addicted to the chiclet keys.

  • Posted: 28 June 2009 12:05 AM #8

    capablanca - 28 June 2009 02:22 AM

    What I find fascinating about this ad is that it seems to confirm that iPhone is the target of the Pre.  This could be an error.  Perhaps they should be using their limited advertising resources to target people who have become addicted to the chiclet keys.

    The ad is confusing in terms of the points made. It features a mostly eaten Apple but focuses on the costs of AT&T’s services. Perhaps it’s a defensive move due to a belief the iPhone is the greatest threat to both Palm and Sprint.

    I don’t know. But two years is a long time to own a particular phone. We’ll see what happens in the coming months as the iPhone sells into the millions of units and the Pre works its way into hundreds of thousands of new hands. I’m assuming this ad was dreamed up before the price cut on the 3G iPhone which distorts the points made in the ad.

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    Posted: 28 June 2009 05:04 AM #9

    The target is first generation iPhone owners, presumably most are early adopters, who might need a physical keyboard and/or multi-tasking ability.  Palm understood their target, Sprint is the one who confuses the message by adding too many irrelevant facts.


    Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.  - Steve Jobs

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    Posted: 28 June 2009 06:06 AM #10

    If you absolutely need a physical keyboard and its associated tactile feedback, you’ll never be able to settle for an iPhone.  No doubt there’s some percentage of “unhappy” 1st gen iPhone owners who are considering the Pre (likely quite a bit less than 10%, they would’ve swapped out their iPhones long ago), but the Pre really would appeal more to the Treo fans/Palm loyalists, or people getting frustrated with their BlackBerries, WinMo phones, and/or not-so-great feature phones.  So-called “enthusiasts” who would be more likely to want multitasking tend not to like Apple’s products.

    That’s a long way of saying I really don’t think iPhone is the “direct” competitor Palm and Sprint may think it is, although of course they are competing smartphones.

    [ Edited: 28 June 2009 06:08 AM by Mav ]


    The Summer of AAPL is here.  Enjoy it (responsibly) while it lasts.
    AFB Night Owl Teamâ„¢
    Thanks, Steve.

  • Posted: 28 June 2009 04:07 PM #11

    Herein lies the problem for Sprint and Palm:

    There aren’t enough existing Sprint customers desiring to move to the Pre to make this product the big success both Sprint and Palm need. Further, Palm knows its future is the Pre and its successors. The Windows Mobile smart phone market is already in trouble comparatively. Palm will need to continue ramping R&D to compete.

    One of AT&T’s smarter moves was allowing many iPhone owners to upgrade in contract based on their plans. Not only does it lock these users into another contract period, it also scorches the economic terrain ahead of the competition.

  • Posted: 29 June 2009 10:32 AM #12

    So let me understand the “OUCH” business about this ad.

    This ad was directed at me, an original iPhone 2.5G customer. (Or let’s even say I was a later iPhone 3G customer).

    I’ve had an iPhone a very long time (compared to most mobile phones) and by now, I either know I can type well with the virtual keyboard (which I certainly can), or not. The vast majority of people can. So showing me an open Pre with the keyboard does nothing for me.

    Showing a picture of an eaten Apple does nothing for me. It’s not even amusing.

    I’m told that the Pre can multitask and the iPhone can’t. (Misleading, since we all know the iPhone can, it’s only 3rd party apps that aren’t allowed to multitask). As a software engineer and lover of all gadgets, I understand the distinctions, in any case, and I completely don’t care whether the Pre can do this, or not. Third party multitasking (at the expense of at least some battery life, and anyone who says not is lying to themselves) is such a tiny pimple on the butt of the universe that I’m almost tempted to laugh. Just like I did every time I saw the Android ad on TV that talked about how the Google phone “multitasks beautifully”. To the average consumer, which is the only target market important here, that’s meaningless technoid information.

    So we already have 3 strikes here.

    As for the 4th, the savings over 2 years on the most expensive unlimited calling plan, that’s another strike. I have a family plan with the least minutes I can pay for, and since I have a huge amount of rollover minutes, I have essentially unlimited minutes now, for less than Sprint would charge for their truly unlimited plan. With an individual plan, all I’d have to do is be cautious with my talk time and try to build up a nice rollover reserve. It certainly can be done. So this, too, is a big strike.

    4 strikes and you’re out. And that’s just based on this ad.

    What haven’t we talked about yet, which I (as an experienced iPhone owner, targeted by this ad, understand; and what most/all average consumers will also understand?)

    - I love my iPhone and wouldn’t give it up for anything, unless something came along that was significantly better during the -term of my contract- (not what I think the Pre might be able to do in another year or so).

    - Many tens of thousands of mature apps means at least many hundreds of totally killer apps I might want to buy, at prices I don’t even have to think about. A few dozen apps for the Pre. Anything worth buying is going to be done for the iPhone first.

    - User experience is unparalleled. There’s nothing I’ve seen in the Palm that’s different that would tempt me to switch.

    - Integration with the entire iTunes/iPod/Apple universe. And all of those accessories, too, that still fit, and still work.

    - Knowing that Apple will continue to add new features and improvements; proven by many incredible updates over the past 2 years. Easy of updating; I know it works. I know I get all of my phone contents back. I know that when I upgraded to a new iPhone that it was trivial to bring every single thing into it from the old. I know it all just works. I don’t have a clue about how Palm updates will go, what the delivery mechanism would be (I would think, ITunes, not) and how reliable that will be. This is the company that provided the most atrocious/useless syncing experience with Mac OS9 and OSX with an old Palm handheld that I could ever imagine, as in: it never worked.

    - A removable battery is a non-issue. I stick a RichardSolo 1800mah external in a free pocket and simply attach to my iPhone if I need to recharge the battery anywhere during the day.

    - I love having a glass screen that’s almost impossible to scratch. I would never EVER want a phone with a plastic screen. Apple, going to glass before the first iPhone was released, was a brilliant move; everyone forgets about this.

    - Build quality. No creaky slidey moving plastic parts.

    - Voice activation on the 3Gs is a killer feature, particularly for listening to music and commanding it to switch to a different playlist, or artist. No voice activation on the Pre.

    - Copy-and-paste in the new 3.0 OS is excellent.

    - Oh, yes, I’m almost forgetting about what I get for my up-front money. For the same price, a 3Gs has twice the storage as the Pre. For another $100, 32GB lets me put my entire music collection in there. Tons of extra room for the video clips I’m shooting, photos, and other things. And the 3Gs is incredibly fast, vs. the original iPhone it’s night and day, and according to all reports, it’s faster than the Pre in many cases and either a bit slower or a tie in others. So any speed advantage is either nullified for me or goes to the 3Gs.


    Multiple strikes against the Pre for me. Not one (1) reason I would even consider switching to a Pre. Instead, I upgraded to the 3Gs and I couldn’t be happier. And next year, I will pay (even at extra $) to upgrade to the next-gen iPhone which will presumably be even faster and more battery efficient (PA semi chip? OLED screen which uses less power? etc) and which would presumably shoot true HD video, have a better camera chip, and perhaps a front facing camera for the first time.

    Not to say it isn’t good that Palm is doing what they’re doing: offering an alternative. But for me, the only OUCH in this ad is for Palm.

  • Posted: 29 June 2009 11:50 AM #13


    Just an excellent post. If all the individuals comprising the AAPL market read these posts we would be looking at a stock over $200 rather than wishing for a near term $150. Again great post.

  • Posted: 29 June 2009 01:58 PM #14

    Thanks…:-) The more I thought about that Palm ad over the weekend, the more it… gnawed… at me…:-)