Can the BlackBerry 8350i help save Sprint-Nextel?

54 Comments

One of the surprises of CTIA last week was the stealth announcement of the Sprint-Nextel BlackBerry 8350i for their oft-neglected iDEN network — if I remember correctly, the last iDEN BlackBerry was the 7100i (ugh). One of the major reasons Sprint has been hemorrhaging subscribers recently is a lack of quality devices, and the release of a sleek BlackBerry to satisfy their nearly 10 million iDEN subscribers could help stop the bleeding.

However, analyst Craig Moffett of Sanford C. Bernstein doesn’t share my rosy outlook, mostly because of the current economic and wireless climate: in short, wireless subscriber growth is slowing, which doesn’t bode well for Sprint-Nextel picking up lost ground. Here’s a question: would anyone jump to Nextel because of the BlackBerry 8350i?

(via CN)

  • Matt

    Depends. A cool new iDEN device will placate *some* people thinking about moving. However, if you’re one of the people who want to leave due to network issues, terrible customer support, or were told that they called CS too many times and had their contract terminated, this won’t help.

    Sprint is losing customers because of the way they do business. Nextel (obviously) can’t help that. A new Blackberry won’t either.

  • Matt

    Depends. A cool new iDEN device will placate *some* people thinking about moving. However, if you’re one of the people who want to leave due to network issues, terrible customer support, or were told that they called CS too many times and had their contract terminated, this won’t help.

    Sprint is losing customers because of the way they do business. Nextel (obviously) can’t help that. A new Blackberry won’t either.

  • Timmy

    EXACTLY!!!

    I wouldn’t be suprised if Sprint/Nextel doesn’t file for some sort of bankruptcy, or at minimum be consumed by one of the other providers…

  • Timmy

    EXACTLY!!!

    I wouldn’t be suprised if Sprint/Nextel doesn’t file for some sort of bankruptcy, or at minimum be consumed by one of the other providers…

  • Timmy

    EXACTLY!!!

    I wouldn’t be suprised if Sprint/Nextel doesn’t file for some sort of bankruptcy, or at minimum be consumed by one of the other providers…

  • Nick Smith

    Your question ” would anyone jump to Nextel because of the BlackBerry 8350i?”
    Answer: NO I WOULD NOT JUMP TO NEXTEL BECAUSE OF THE 8350i HOWEVER THEY MAYBE CAN KEEP SOME OF THE 10 MILLION that have either the 7520 or the 7100!!!!!!

  • Nick Smith

    Your question ” would anyone jump to Nextel because of the BlackBerry 8350i?”
    Answer: NO I WOULD NOT JUMP TO NEXTEL BECAUSE OF THE 8350i HOWEVER THEY MAYBE CAN KEEP SOME OF THE 10 MILLION that have either the 7520 or the 7100!!!!!!

  • Jane

    All I have to do is call CS a lot of times to get my contract termintaed. Sounds like a plan. I was ready to stick with sprint for a few more years, but after not being able to even find a decent phone…. no one other than the sprint store even carryies the handset. uuurrggg!!!! I dont know of anyone looking to go to Sprint. I’m considering the $200.00 cancellation fee…..

  • Jane

    All I have to do is call CS a lot of times to get my contract termintaed. Sounds like a plan. I was ready to stick with sprint for a few more years, but after not being able to even find a decent phone…. no one other than the sprint store even carryies the handset. uuurrggg!!!! I dont know of anyone looking to go to Sprint. I’m considering the $200.00 cancellation fee…..

  • Jane

    All I have to do is call CS a lot of times to get my contract termintaed. Sounds like a plan. I was ready to stick with sprint for a few more years, but after not being able to even find a decent phone…. no one other than the sprint store even carryies the handset. uuurrggg!!!! I dont know of anyone looking to go to Sprint. I’m considering the $200.00 cancellation fee…..

  • mike

    I dont know what your talking about I have had Sprint for years and would not change if my life depended on it. i always have one call resoultion. As long as you dont act like a jerk to rep’s they will get you fixed up

  • mike

    I dont know what your talking about I have had Sprint for years and would not change if my life depended on it. i always have one call resoultion. As long as you dont act like a jerk to rep’s they will get you fixed up

  • Matt3

    I honestly think that no one will switch from their current carrier just to get this phone. Iden is a dying breed. People with nextel currently will probably love it. But I’m sick of people bad mouthing sprint. I’ve been with them for 4 years. Love the service. If i ever have a problem, one call its taken care. Vzw is the carrier i thought had horrible cs. They did not know how to keep a customer.

  • Matt3

    I honestly think that no one will switch from their current carrier just to get this phone. Iden is a dying breed. People with nextel currently will probably love it. But I’m sick of people bad mouthing sprint. I’ve been with them for 4 years. Love the service. If i ever have a problem, one call its taken care. Vzw is the carrier i thought had horrible cs. They did not know how to keep a customer.

  • Art

    I agree with Mike. Sprint has always taken great care of me! They always give me 5.00 off my bill whenever I take their quick phone survey! Besides that, they have the best phone plans ever! Who else offers nights and weekends starting at 6pm for only 5 bucks a month extra? You can’t beat that! Plus I have free mobile to mobile! Hehe, so you jerkos can p_ss off and lay off my Sprint. I am a Nextel subscriber and will definitely be getting the new Blackberry! Whoo Hooooo!!!

  • http://StickingWithSprint Art

    I agree with Mike. Sprint has always taken great care of me! They always give me 5.00 off my bill whenever I take their quick phone survey! Besides that, they have the best phone plans ever! Who else offers nights and weekends starting at 6pm for only 5 bucks a month extra? You can’t beat that! Plus I have free mobile to mobile! Hehe, so you jerkos can p_ss off and lay off my Sprint. I am a Nextel subscriber and will definitely be getting the new Blackberry! Whoo Hooooo!!!

  • Kelli

    I think a lot of my customers only switched from Nextel to Sprint because of the cool phones, and they will switch back. I know a lot of people who only don’t choose Nextel because of the lack of data devices. I think that it will bring some people black to Nextel as well as keeping their current blackberry users…

    As far as customer care…I had never had such a problem when it was just nextel, now with sprint no one seems to know what kind of phones they can work on or switch too, or change plans for. They are always rude no matter what the question is… Sprint dealer support even sucks for us dealers most of the time. Tmobile has the best cusotmer care.

  • Kelli

    I think a lot of my customers only switched from Nextel to Sprint because of the cool phones, and they will switch back. I know a lot of people who only don’t choose Nextel because of the lack of data devices. I think that it will bring some people black to Nextel as well as keeping their current blackberry users…

    As far as customer care…I had never had such a problem when it was just nextel, now with sprint no one seems to know what kind of phones they can work on or switch too, or change plans for. They are always rude no matter what the question is… Sprint dealer support even sucks for us dealers most of the time. Tmobile has the best cusotmer care.

  • BJ_Sprint

    While the 8350i is going to be a phenomenal device, we definitely aren’t counting on it to save the day. The real difference maker in the decision process to change carriers is really the network and customer service. We believe our network to be strong and reliable, and we are currently pushing forward with our Ready Now service; a pro-active in-store . While phones will continue to come and go in the public’s eye, reliable service and strong customer support sustain the customer base.

  • BJ_Sprint

    While the 8350i is going to be a phenomenal device, we definitely aren’t counting on it to save the day. The real difference maker in the decision process to change carriers is really the network and customer service. We believe our network to be strong and reliable, and we are currently pushing forward with our Ready Now service; a pro-active in-store . While phones will continue to come and go in the public’s eye, reliable service and strong customer support sustain the customer base.

  • Anthony De Rosa

    I cant wait for the nextel curve to come out. That is my question when? What month what day?

  • Anthony De Rosa

    I cant wait for the nextel curve to come out. That is my question when? What month what day?

  • B

    Yea i don’t necessarily beleive anyone would leave their current carrier for the 8350i. From a business standpoint, i guess that’s a relevant question; But, from a consumer standpoint, i really don’t think that matters. I think all their trying to do is satisfy current nextel subscribers like myself who’ve been waiting on a new bb. MY question is, can we expect newer models as often as other carriers….will it be ANOTHER 3 years before we see a newer bb than this???

  • B

    Yea i don’t necessarily beleive anyone would leave their current carrier for the 8350i. From a business standpoint, i guess that’s a relevant question; But, from a consumer standpoint, i really don’t think that matters. I think all their trying to do is satisfy current nextel subscribers like myself who’ve been waiting on a new bb. MY question is, can we expect newer models as often as other carriers….will it be ANOTHER 3 years before we see a newer bb than this???

  • JScott

    I’ve been with Sprint now going on 4 years. Their CS has been exellent and also willing to work with me during financial woes. Very seldom do I ever have coverage issues.
    My new plan that I have with Sprint, can’t even be touched by Verizon (atleast according the a Verizon in-store rep).
    Nights & weekends starting @ 6. Unlimited everything..all for under $200/month with 3 lines. My ONLY complaint is that it does ALWAYS seem that other carriers are always getting exclusive rights on the best phones..such as the Blackberry Storm and Bold. C’mon Sprint….you gotta keep up with desired product.

  • JScott

    I’ve been with Sprint now going on 4 years. Their CS has been exellent and also willing to work with me during financial woes. Very seldom do I ever have coverage issues.
    My new plan that I have with Sprint, can’t even be touched by Verizon (atleast according the a Verizon in-store rep).
    Nights & weekends starting @ 6. Unlimited everything..all for under $200/month with 3 lines. My ONLY complaint is that it does ALWAYS seem that other carriers are always getting exclusive rights on the best phones..such as the Blackberry Storm and Bold. C’mon Sprint….you gotta keep up with desired product.

  • MENDO

    I HAVE HAD CHANCES TO CHANGE TO ANOTHER PHONE CO. BUT I LIKE NEXTEL AND HAVE HAD SERVICE SINCE 2000, I LOVE THE DIRECT CONNECT, I WAS GOING TO GO FOR THE I PHONE BUT WHEN I HEARD BY ACCIDENT THAT BLACKBERYY WAS COMING OUT WITH THIS PHONE IT WAS GREAT AND THAT I WOULD WAIT. IF THEIR HAVING A HARD TIME THEY SURE SHOULD PUT THIS PHONE ON THE MARKET NOW TO KEEP GOOD PEOPLE FROM LEAVING THEM AND GOING ELSEWHERE. I WANT ONE BADLY, I BELIEVE THIS WILL HELP THEIR BOTTOM LINE NOT HURT IT. AS LONG AS THE PRICE IS NOT OUT THERE, WHERE IT WILL BE CHEAPER FOR THE PERSON TO GO FOR A I PHONE WHIS IS ONLY 199.99 AND THE INSTINCT ONLY 129.99.
    HURRY UP AND GET OFF YOUR DUFF AND GET THIS PHONE OUT TO THE PUBLIC, AND ON YOUR SPRINT SITE, LET PEOPLE READ ABOUT IT INSTEAD OF HAVING THEM TO GO TO BLACKBERRY TO GET THE NEWS YOU SHOULD BE SPREADING

  • MENDO

    I HAVE HAD CHANCES TO CHANGE TO ANOTHER PHONE CO. BUT I LIKE NEXTEL AND HAVE HAD SERVICE SINCE 2000, I LOVE THE DIRECT CONNECT, I WAS GOING TO GO FOR THE I PHONE BUT WHEN I HEARD BY ACCIDENT THAT BLACKBERYY WAS COMING OUT WITH THIS PHONE IT WAS GREAT AND THAT I WOULD WAIT. IF THEIR HAVING A HARD TIME THEY SURE SHOULD PUT THIS PHONE ON THE MARKET NOW TO KEEP GOOD PEOPLE FROM LEAVING THEM AND GOING ELSEWHERE. I WANT ONE BADLY, I BELIEVE THIS WILL HELP THEIR BOTTOM LINE NOT HURT IT. AS LONG AS THE PRICE IS NOT OUT THERE, WHERE IT WILL BE CHEAPER FOR THE PERSON TO GO FOR A I PHONE WHIS IS ONLY 199.99 AND THE INSTINCT ONLY 129.99.
    HURRY UP AND GET OFF YOUR DUFF AND GET THIS PHONE OUT TO THE PUBLIC, AND ON YOUR SPRINT SITE, LET PEOPLE READ ABOUT IT INSTEAD OF HAVING THEM TO GO TO BLACKBERRY TO GET THE NEWS YOU SHOULD BE SPREADING

  • http://cvaria.com/ Kyle

    I switch from nextel/sprint to verizon two years ago for a better phone.. but i ended up switching back because verizon kept inflating my bill.

    Verizon would constantly add tons of fraudulent charges. i switched back to nextel/sprint in under 3 months and gladly took the the early term. fee.

    I later upgraded to the blackberry 8830 and kept my free incoming 500 plan and just added 30 more for unlimited data goodies (text, sprint gps *awesome*, and all). i have not had an issue with sprint customer service. actually there service was over-the-top last time i had an issue. they made sure i was good and even called back later in the day to check.

    I due have a problem with the retarded replies i get if i email a question to customer support. they look like they are written by 3 year olds and barely make sense… i think outsourcing may be the issue there.

    My only issue with them is the f’d up phone selection. i want a bold but… after doing the math. i’d lose by switching to at&t to grab one. at&t has no plan that even comes close to the value of sprint plans (such as the simply everything plans) and everything with at&t is an added cost.

    run the numbers and you’ll see the same thing. however, the lack of device support and availability does not bode well for customer growth and retention. lack of growth and customer attrition due to devices will lead to a slow death for sprint balance sheet wise.

  • http://cvaria.com Kyle

    I switch from nextel/sprint to verizon two years ago for a better phone.. but i ended up switching back because verizon kept inflating my bill.

    Verizon would constantly add tons of fraudulent charges. i switched back to nextel/sprint in under 3 months and gladly took the the early term. fee.

    I later upgraded to the blackberry 8830 and kept my free incoming 500 plan and just added 30 more for unlimited data goodies (text, sprint gps *awesome*, and all). i have not had an issue with sprint customer service. actually there service was over-the-top last time i had an issue. they made sure i was good and even called back later in the day to check.

    I due have a problem with the retarded replies i get if i email a question to customer support. they look like they are written by 3 year olds and barely make sense… i think outsourcing may be the issue there.

    My only issue with them is the f’d up phone selection. i want a bold but… after doing the math. i’d lose by switching to at&t to grab one. at&t has no plan that even comes close to the value of sprint plans (such as the simply everything plans) and everything with at&t is an added cost.

    run the numbers and you’ll see the same thing. however, the lack of device support and availability does not bode well for customer growth and retention. lack of growth and customer attrition due to devices will lead to a slow death for sprint balance sheet wise.

  • Anne Marie

    I left nextel for sprint , it didn’t work for me, then went to V. network, and was nickeled and dimed to death.Back to nextel because of the new blackberry and the service I used for 6 years with a better plan,(simply everything). I’m just waiting for the 8350 to come out, them I can keep up with my younger tech. savy clients. Please get it out Blackberry

  • Anne Marie

    I left nextel for sprint , it didn’t work for me, then went to V. network, and was nickeled and dimed to death.Back to nextel because of the new blackberry and the service I used for 6 years with a better plan,(simply everything). I’m just waiting for the 8350 to come out, them I can keep up with my younger tech. savy clients. Please get it out Blackberry

  • Anne Marie

    I left nextel for sprint , it didn’t work for me, then went to V. network, and was nickeled and dimed to death.Back to nextel because of the new blackberry and the service I used for 6 years with a better plan,(simply everything). I’m just waiting for the 8350 to come out, them I can keep up with my younger tech. savy clients. Please get it out Blackberry

  • http://www.vazcom.net/ Troy

    I am an indirect dealer for Nextel/Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon. I’m taking pre orders for the new Blackberries being released in the next few week. The Blackberry Bold(AT&T), Storm (Verizon)and Curve(Nextel). You can reach me at trampolla@vazcom.net to place your pre order. We service individuals and businesses. Additonal discounts will be available when purchasing through our company

  • http://www.vazcom.net/ Troy

    I am an indirect dealer for Nextel/Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon. I’m taking pre orders for the new Blackberries being released in the next few week. The Blackberry Bold(AT&T), Storm (Verizon)and Curve(Nextel). You can reach me at trampolla@vazcom.net to place your pre order. We service individuals and businesses. Additonal discounts will be available when purchasing through our company

  • http://www.vazcom.net Troy

    I am an indirect dealer for Nextel/Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon. I’m taking pre orders for the new Blackberries being released in the next few week. The Blackberry Bold(AT&T), Storm (Verizon)and Curve(Nextel). You can reach me at trampolla@vazcom.net to place your pre order. We service individuals and businesses. Additonal discounts will be available when purchasing through our company

  • Rob

    i am now a att customer and i am going to nextel for myself and my family when the new blackberry 8350i is finally out. it has been a long time coming and i want one badly. i think it is great phone from all i have read but i hate waiting for something.

  • Rob

    i am now a att customer and i am going to nextel for myself and my family when the new blackberry 8350i is finally out. it has been a long time coming and i want one badly. i think it is great phone from all i have read but i hate waiting for something.

  • John

    I have tried sever cell phone carriers, AT&T, Sprint-Nextel, T-Mobile and Verizon. My experience with AT&T was not good, I was a customer with them for about 20 days because their service was spotty and not as advertised. T-Mobile was my last company, which I have just closed my account. T-Mobile would not terminate my account even after my contract ended. They forced me to pay two extra months of service I did not receive even after I made several attempts with their customer service to close my account. I did not want my credit score to go down that is why I was forced to pay them, I am going to file a complain with consumer affairs. I was happy with Verizon because they had good coverage in most areas but I moved away from them because when I had to close one of my accounts they would send me a check for the amount they over billed me and I paid for. It took Verizon over six years to send me a check for the money they owned me. With Sprint I can say their everything plan is the best. Their internet speed is super fast on their phones. Even when the phone is used as a computer modem the broadband speed is faster than the basic ADSL speed, video conferences are running perfect. I think Sprint is improving and making excellent progress. Customer service with any company is a pain and consider your self luck until you have to call customer service.

  • John

    I have tried sever cell phone carriers, AT&T, Sprint-Nextel, T-Mobile and Verizon. My experience with AT&T was not good, I was a customer with them for about 20 days because their service was spotty and not as advertised. T-Mobile was my last company, which I have just closed my account. T-Mobile would not terminate my account even after my contract ended. They forced me to pay two extra months of service I did not receive even after I made several attempts with their customer service to close my account. I did not want my credit score to go down that is why I was forced to pay them, I am going to file a complain with consumer affairs. I was happy with Verizon because they had good coverage in most areas but I moved away from them because when I had to close one of my accounts they would send me a check for the amount they over billed me and I paid for. It took Verizon over six years to send me a check for the money they owned me. With Sprint I can say their everything plan is the best. Their internet speed is super fast on their phones. Even when the phone is used as a computer modem the broadband speed is faster than the basic ADSL speed, video conferences are running perfect. I think Sprint is improving and making excellent progress. Customer service with any company is a pain and consider your self luck until you have to call customer service.

  • Anthony

    To answer your question directly – yes, I will come back to nextel in a second when the 8350 is FINALLY released. What is taking soooo long??? Several of my associates (about 8) have expressed a desire to come back as well because of this phone. I only left nextel because other carriers had much better products. For example, I left nextel in 1997 to purchase a treo 600 with Sprint(I know. It was a long time ago). Then i purchased the treo 650, 700, and lastly, the 755. As you can tell, I try to get up with the lastest technology. The only feature missing from the treo 755 is push-to-talk. When the 8350 is FINALLY released, it will be the most comprehensive phone on the market. I can’t wait!!!

  • Anthony

    To answer your question directly – yes, I will come back to nextel in a second when the 8350 is FINALLY released. What is taking soooo long??? Several of my associates (about 8) have expressed a desire to come back as well because of this phone. I only left nextel because other carriers had much better products. For example, I left nextel in 1997 to purchase a treo 600 with Sprint(I know. It was a long time ago). Then i purchased the treo 650, 700, and lastly, the 755. As you can tell, I try to get up with the lastest technology. The only feature missing from the treo 755 is push-to-talk. When the 8350 is FINALLY released, it will be the most comprehensive phone on the market. I can’t wait!!!

  • Troy Dot Com

    They will let you pre-order as of today. It actually shows up in their system. Just ordered mine.

  • Troy Dot Com

    They will let you pre-order as of today. It actually shows up in their system. Just ordered mine.

  • Anthony De Rosa

    I dont see anything about it at sprint.com no pre order anyway.

  • Anthony De Rosa

    I dont see anything about it at sprint.com no pre order anyway.

  • Troy Dot Com

    Yes!!! Sprint emailed me the tracking number for my new nextel blackberry!! It is 1.5 hours from my house as we speak. What is wierd is that the new phone still doesn’t show up on Sprint’s site to order…but the stores can.

  • Troy Dot Com

    Yes!!! Sprint emailed me the tracking number for my new nextel blackberry!! It is 1.5 hours from my house as we speak. What is wierd is that the new phone still doesn’t show up on Sprint’s site to order…but the stores can.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ BlackBerry Cool

    Great news guys, it’s official:

    http://www.blackberrycool.com/2008/12/sprint-launches-blackberry-curve-8350i/

    Merry Christmas!

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com BlackBerry Cool

    Great news guys, it’s official:

    http://www.blackberrycool.com/2008/12/sprint-launches-blackberry-curve-8350i/

    Merry Christmas!