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Should Apple buy Sprint?

Master

Should Apple buy Sprint?

"The big news in Kansas City lately has been about Sprint continuing to bleed customers by the million. Sprint has tried to correct a long corporate tradition of putting its bottom line first and customers last in its planning and business policies. At Sprint it has been understood that customers are suckers to be baited, trapped and exploited. Apple computer has always put the end user first and the bottom line really takes good care of its self, thank you very much," Greg Mills writes over in our Opinion section today.

"Apple is everything Sprint is not. Apple is Innovative, a technology leader, and has world class customer service," Mills writes.

"Apple has $25 billion in cash and credit to buy Sprint. The management at Apple and the Apple brand name would turn the wireless company we call 'Sprint' around quickly," Mills writes. "With long range wireless, the existing Cellphone network and a lock on the iPhone, Apple has a reason to consider vertical expansion in the wireless market with the hoard of cash it has accumulated."

Mills looks at reasons why it makes sense for Apple to buy Sprint in his full article - which includes the opportunity for reader feedback - here.
http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/19063/

4 REPLIES
Master

Re: Should Apple buy Sprint?

Here's the full story -

Some time ago I wrote an article for MacDailyNews suggesting that Apple should buy Sony. Apple lovers were generally shocked and against that idea 10 to 1. Well, having licked my wounds from that article, I am sticking my neck out again....

The big news in Kansas City lately has been about Sprint continuing to bleed customers by the million. Sprint has tried to correct a long corporate tradition of putting its bottom line first and customers last in its planning and business policies. At Sprint it has been understood that customers are suckers to be baited, trapped and exploited. Applecomputer has always put the end user first and the bottom line really takes good care of its self, thank you very much.

Apple is everything Sprint is not. Apple is Innovative, a technology leader, and has world class customer service. The AT&T exclusive on iPhone is going to to expire in a year or so. We know Apple has been looking hard at wireless infrastructure and has expertise in that area. Wireless devices are becoming so common place in our lives, we really couldn't live without them any more. We open our laptops and expect them to hook up to the internet, without us even thinking about it.

The WiMax or IEEE 802.16 Wireless format is a "last mile" solution. It is sort of a city-wide WiFi network that connects over wide areas with high speed and a lot of bandwidth. Sprint has been working on developing such a network and Apple could buy into that new system by buying Sprint at an attractive price. This would allow Apple TV and the iPhone to have a home network advantage. With control of the device, the iTunes store and the network, Apple could give us the experience we expect from them. Jobs is not one to leave money on the table anyway.

Enter the financial meltdown of the economy in general and Sprint in particular. Sprint is devalued right now and at the right price, the established wireless system and spectrum rights Sprint holds are quite a valuable asset and a good long term investment. Their reputation has made the word "sprint" an albatross and selling the company to a white knight is the only way for the stock holders to come out of this mess.

Sprint should go to Apple and offer an attractive way to sell out to them. Apple has $25 billion in cash and credit to buy Sprint. The management at Apple and the Apple brand name would turn the wireless company we call "Sprint" around quickly. Apple would have to fire the dead wood management and build the world class management team to make the #3 wireless company in the US prosperous again. With long range wireless, the existing cell phone network and a lock on the iPhone, Apple has a reason to consider vertical expansion in the wireless market with the hoard of cash it has accumulated. There are issues with the format of the Sprint Network and the current iPhone but the basic cell network at Sprint is the only thing good about them.

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Journeyman

Re: Should Apple buy Sprint?

Firstly Apple doesn't put the customer first. In fact they seldom do, what Apple does is put their COMPETITION first.

This is something that Sprint is the worst at, in fact Sprint acts like it is totally unaware that there even IS competition.

On another note, it makes no sense for Apple to buy Sprint. What they would be inheriting is a negative brand with a flagging customer base. The only assets that would benefit Apple are Sprint's CDMA network and Xohm implementation. Apple would then be faced with a couple of choices, change the iPhone into a CDMA beast or reconfigure Sprint's network to be a GSM system. Either way it's boatloads of money and a re-branding that Apple can do without. Apple has made a ton of money by just partnering with AT&T.

Every carrier, including AT&T, are looking at launching "iPhone killers". However, the iPhone is not positioned as a "killer" of anything. Everybody else is targeting the iPhone as the watermark to beat. So, let's look at the equation in the simplest way - continue focusing on the iPhone and make a fathomless ocean of cash, or, buy Sprint and end up with a cash sinkhole.

I think it's pretty easy math. Though, we would certainly benefit if Apple decided to charitize us by buying Sprint and liquidating the entire management team. Heck, it'd be great for us. It just ain't happening.

Re: Should Apple buy Sprint?

Actually, I think that's where we're going to disagree, Ardoreal. I DO think that Apple puts its customers first. But such foresight comes at a price, and that's why Apple's products are more expensive then those products offered by the competition. You get what you pay for.

However, I do agree that Sprint does take their competition lightly (assuming that they worry about it at all). And there's obviously no chance in hell that Apple would EVER consider buying Sprint (or any other carrier for that matter). Apple is far happier to supply AT&T and the rest of the world with iPhones. As you said, there's far more money to be made in being a phone supplier than in a service provider...though, I suppose when you look at iTunes, the OS, the Apps store, etc...perhaps Apple is looking to become a true media player, both in terms of hardware as well as software.

Still, that leaves the question of what does SprintNextel do?

Journeyman

Re: Should Apple buy Sprint?

You've got some good points quasijedi, but the reason I don't believe Apple puts customers first is because of their prices and margins. Apple has margins that every competitor in the business would drool over. It's well known that real value in computing is building what's called a "hackintosh" and installing OSX on it yourself. That and their internet service-based products are some of the strictest of their kind. Even iTunes, Apple is known for being the only service that only allows one download in policy, whereas on all their competitors you can delete and re-download tv shows, movies, and music as many times as you want.

MobileMe is also an example of Apple not putting customers first, Apple took years to listen to customers and beef up the service to more palatable returns for what they charge people for it. Apple does not listen to customers, Apple reads opinions and looks at what they have to do in order to be better than competition.

We may agree to disagree, but being an Apple customer for a few years, I get the feeling they are successful because of a keen eye on where to go to stay ahead of competitors. There is one area we will both definitely agree on though, Apple puts customers before their bottom line. Apple realises that they have a bottom line because of customers, and they will put out a product that people can reasonably pay for, and do it better than everyone else.

Sprint figures that since they can get away with having bad policy because everyone else has the same bad policy, it can net them a few bucks. That's probably the only way they are aware of competition, because they want to screw customers the same way competition does.