Sprint (NYSE: S) is about to release a new phone from Samsung which has many of the features of the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone. According to MarketWatch "The new Samsung Instinct, available from Sprint in June, looks somewhat like an iPhone and is supposed to function in a similar way. It’s a touchscreen device with a virtual keyboard, capable of surfing the Web, taking photos and playing music and video."
Even if the handset is in the same league as the iPhone, it is not likely to help Sprint. The No.3 cellular company’s problems go deeper than it products. Consumers would much rather do business with Verizon Wireless or AT&T (NYSE: T). Verizon does not have an "iPhone equivalent" and, based on their most recent earnings report, it has not hurt them at all.
In a poll by MSN Money last year, Sprint was listed as having the highest "poor" rating for its service among all companies in all industries. Forty percent of repondents gave Sprint the lowest rating. No other company did any worse than 30%..
In a "quality service" survey by Vocal Laboratories, Sprint finished last among cellular providers for caller satisfaction and call completion.
The JD Power customer satisfaction survey of wireless customers also puts Sprint in last place.
The new Samsung phone may be hot, but that won’t help Sprint until consumers believe that the company has better-than-average services.
Douglas A. McIntyre