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5/18/2010
11:45 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Sprint Says Pre Didn't Work Out, Wants iPhone

Sprint's Chief Financial Officer Robert Brust recently assured investors that the nations' third-largest provider of wireless services has seen the worst of its problems and things are looking up. Brust also accidentally ate his foot when he bad-mouthed the Palm Pre and said the company would love to have Apple's iPhone.

Sprint's Chief Financial Officer Robert Brust recently assured investors that the nations' third-largest provider of wireless services has seen the worst of its problems and things are looking up. Brust also accidentally ate his foot when he bad-mouthed the Palm Pre and said the company would love to have Apple's iPhone.Sprint has had it tough for a few years. The company has bled post-paid customers to larger rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless, and has struggled to stem the flow.

About a year ago, the company banked its revival on the success of the Palm Pre. Sprint and Palm have had a long partnership, and both though their exclusive offering of the Palm Pre from June 2009 to January 2010 was the perfect way to help both firms succeed.

Unfortunately, the ploy didn't bare fruit for either company. Sprint failed to really revive post-paid customer numbers and Palm simply didn't sell enough Pres. Neither did the two companies sell enough Palm Pixis, which went on sale in the Fall. As we all know, Palm put itself up for sale earlier this year, and recently announced HP's plans to acquire it.

Sprint CFO Brust was blunt about the Palm Pre's impact -- or lack thereof -- on the company's bottom line. "The Pre didn't work out as well as we hoped," he said. Um, no kidding. Brust noted that Palm's supply issues were part of the problem. Brust indicated that the company has learned a lot since it launched the Pre.

The cherry on top of all Brust's comments concern the iPhone. In response to a question, Brust said, "We'd love to have it," though he also noted that the possibility is unlikely.

This year, it is hoping to see a savior in the HTC EVO 4G, the first WiMax smartphone, which streets June 4.

[Via Wall Street Journal]

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