Sprint Drops Samsung Instinct Price Again: Now $129 After Rebate

Illustration for article titled Sprint Drops Samsung Instinct Price Again: Now $129 After Rebate

Sprint is trying to set some kind of sales record with its exclusive Samsung Instinct: The fun little don't-call-it-an-iPhone feature phone goes on sale June 20 priced at $129 after a $100 mail-in rebate. A week ago, we reported that the price had fallen from $299 to $199. Honestly, I can safely say there's no good reason NOT to buy one of these things if you plan on sticking with Sprint for two or more years. But with phone subsidies this high, one wonders how many years Sprint itself can stick around. (Press release with details on plans, accessories and features below.)



Revolutionary device offers industry-leading combination

of full touch-screen functionality and fast network speeds

with live TV, stereo Bluetooth, GPS with turn-by-turn navigation

and one-touch access to favorites

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – June 18, 2008 – Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced pricing for Instinct, a new wireless device that offers consumers an industry-leading user experience by combining full touch-screen functionality with the fast speeds available on the largest national mobile broadband network. When the device launches on June 20, it will cost just $129.99 with a two-year contract after a $100 mail-in rebate.

Customers will be able to purchase Instinct through Sprint retail stores, Web (www.sprint.com) and telesales (1-800-SPRINT1.) Best Buy is Sprint's exclusive retail partner for Instinct from June 20 – August 28.

In order for customers to experience the full capabilities of the device, Instinct must be activated on a pricing plan offering unlimited data. Customers can choose from Everything plans for individuals starting at just $69.99 per month for 450 voice minutes or Talk/Message/Data Share plans for families starting at $129.99 per month for 1500 voice minutes to share between two lines. Instinct complements Sprint's signature Simply Everything Plan offering both unlimited nationwide voice and data services for just $99.99 per month. The Simply Everything Plan offers premium services, including GPS navigation, email, web surfing, Sprint Music Premier and Sprint TV Premier, while letting customers easily budget for phone expenses.

Instinct was recently named "Best in Show" in the third annual Emerging Technology (E-Tech) Award competition in April at CTIA Wireless 2008. Instinct was also honored as "Most Innovative Product at CTIA Wireless 2008" by the editors of LAPTOP, a leading mobile technology magazine. CNET also recognized Instinct as the "Best Cell Phone" in its annual Cream of the Crop CTIA 2008 awards.

The innovative device speeds up the user experience like no other touch-screen phone and brings the customer's most-used applications and contacts within a single finger tap. Instinct has a high-tech look with large, vibrant touch-screen featuring localized tactile feedback, called haptics, which transform the virtual QWERTY keypad and other screen interactions into a sensory experience. The device also offers a Speech to Action button providing many functions using speech activation for calling, texting, picture messaging, traffic, movie, sports, news, weather and search.

As Sprint's first EV-DO Rev A consumer-centric device, Instinct provides the ability to quickly browse the Web, access business or personal e-mail, share pictures, listen to commercial-free radio and more at broadband speeds. Instinct also provides smooth access to GPS applications including Sprint Navigation, with GPS-enabled audio and visual turn-by-turn driving directions and one-click traffic rerouting as well as Live Search for Sprint, powered by Microsoft, providing easy access to directory information on-the-go, interactive maps and one-touch click to call access.

Instinct boasts many advanced features including Visual Voicemail, allowing users to listen to messages in their order of preference and manage them with a simple tap of the screen. This device also provides support for corporate and consumer (POP3 and IMAP) email, multitasking capabilities that allow the user to play music in background mode while surfing the Internet, texting or playing games, a 2.0 megapixel camera with camcorder and expandable microSD memory of up to 8GB. Additional features include advanced stereo Bluetooth® 2.0, SMS voice and text messaging with threaded text, picture caller ID and Sprint Mobile Sync.

Instinct comes with everything the user needs to enjoy the device's full capabilities right out of the box. Contents include a 2GB microSD™ card that can hold approximately 2,000 songs from Sprint Music Store, two standard 1,000 mAh batteries offering up to 5.75 hours of continuous talk time each, battery-charging sleeve, travel charger, USB cable, 3.5mm headphones with built-in microphone, and carry case with stylus. Customers can access the latest information on Instinct at www.instinctthephone.com.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving nearly 53 million customers at the end of the first quarter 2008; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.

[Sprint Instinct]




Even if you don't end up owning an Iphone, you can thank Apple for making the phone market as competitive as it's ever been!

That is a matter of perspective, of course. Apple has made the iPhone-look-alike products more competitive, without question. There have been smart phones available for as little as $100 for years (BlackBerry devices, for example), and standard phones have been given away for free since the 90's.

Yes, the iPhone competitors were not expecting a $200 3G iPhone, and everyone is adjusting their prices to compete. That is fantastic news, as long as the carriers do not make up the profit in other ways. But, they would never do that, right?

Ultimately, that is the horrible thing about the American cell phone market. As long as carriers get to mix in hardware costs with their service, knowing what you are truly paying for that cell phone is nearly impossible. The price comparisons we have here assume you will never have any additional fees, but unless you never use your cell phone, that is not even slightly realistic.

That said, I am clearly looking this gift horse in the mouth and finding that there are some root canals in it's future. I should be quiet and thank the Sprint Gods for this gift of the $100 rebate.