All of us have enjoyed a good laugh at Sprint’s hastily thrown-together competitive response to the impending iPhone launch. What you might not realize is that such devastating tactics as pushing inferior media phones like the two-sided Samsung Upstage with “unlimited storage” on an unsuspecting public represent just the tip of the iceberg.
We at Cult of Mac, through a research technique we can only describe as “a couple of beers with friends” and “making stuff up” have gotten our hands on a list of talking points Sprint will break out in the next few months, as their struggle with Apple escalates. Please enjoy this Top 5 list of top-secret (some would say fictional) anti-iPhone tactics.
5. Phoning it in
Picture this: A curious but fairly clueless non-techy interested in the iPhone wanders into a Sprint store, and asks about the mystical device. The Sprint team springs into action! After all, Sprint’s strategy of trying to make any phone technically capable of playing music sound like the same thing as a multi-touch driven multiplayer like the iPhone.
Customer: Can I have an Apple Phone (sic), please?
Sprint Rep: Oh, so you’re interested in being able to place a call, eh? The iPhone is an impressive device, but do you really want to spend all that money? What you might not know is that Sprint offers lots of phones that are capable of making phone calls. Apple would have you believe that you need a $500 device to make a phone call. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Customer: I’m going home.
Sprint Rep: You just do that, little man.
(Read on for the rest of the top 4)
4. The Power-Play
Sprint made a very convincing argument that SmartPhones with just over a 20th of the storage of the base model of the iPhone actually have “unlimited” storage that Apple simply can’t match. What you might not know is that Sprint is about to use this same strategy to expose another weakness of the iPhone.
Sprint Rep: Did you know that our amazing Fusic II never runs out of power? While the iPhone is burdened by a non-removable, surprisingly long-lasting battery that you have to charge, any Sprint phone can swap batteries in the heat of the moment. And if you buy 5,000 batteries, it’s almost like your phone will never stop working. Fight Apple’s tyranny! Drop the tether to the wall of your power cord!
3. More Popular Than Unreleased
Perhaps Sprint’s most creative sales strategy during the initial rush of iPhone release is to claim that its phones are preferred to the iPhone. No, seriously: “The iP-830 is a slider-style phone which people tend to prefer over the iPhone style.” You know what else people tend to prefer over unreleased products? Anything else on the market. Sprint’s going to use that knowledge to its advantage.
Sprint Rep: You’re interested in the iPhone, but did you know that no Sprint customer has ever bought one? Wouldn’t you rather buy one of these 5,000 RAZRs we have in the back room? People tend to prefer them to the iPhone 3, which is unlikely to exist until 2011.
2. Innovation is a Two-Sided Phone
Not willing to buy into the hype that Apple creates the most innovative products in the world, Sprint lashed back by noting (correctly) that, um…the Samsung Upstage has two sides. “Have you seen the Upstage? It’s a two-sided phone.” Sources deep inside a non-existent Sprint strategy braintrust tell me that Sprint will soon apply this logic across categories.
Sprint Rep: You think you’re interested in a high-tech phone? Well, check this out: We now offer nothing but three-dimensional phones. They have a height, a width and a depth. Turn it around and flip it over – it looks different! Try doing that with an iPhone.*
*Only don’t. It will work.
1. Do you really need something so good?
Perhaps Sprint’s most interesting idea is to try to convince people that they actually don’t want a phone that can do a lot of stuff (unless they want to do it on a MotoQ). “The iPhone is an Apple product and has some nice features. It also has a nice price. Do you really need all those features in one device?” But Sprint won’t stop there. No, they have a bigger card to play from the same deck.
Sprint Rep: The iPhone is very nice, some would even argue that it’s the best in the world for performing any of its features except mobile downloads. But do you really want to carry that kind of over-achiever in your pocket everywhere? At the end of the day, the iPhone knows that it doesn’t suck, and it lets you know about it. Why not use the Fusic instead? It has no self-esteem, so it will work really hard to please you!
And that’s it. Apple is screwed.