How a Sprint Phone Is Born
The process to select a phone and bring it to market often takes more than a year and hinges upon thousands and thousands of individual factors.
And all of it can be marred with bad timing.
Take, for example, the Palm Pre. Sprint typically announces new phones 30 to 90 days (max) before they go on sale. Palm announced the Palm Pre in January 2009, a full six months before the device went on sale at Sprint stores. According to Sprint, maintaining momentum for a device launch like that is nearly impossible. Similarly, devices that are announced, but then delayed due to any of the possible certification factors above, can really dampen initial sales.
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Believe it or not, information about unannounced devices that is leaked early can impact sales of Sprint's existing lineup and screw up sales forecasts, because consumers delay making purchases in anticipation of leaked new devices.
Beyond that, Sprint has to anticipate what devices its competitors will be launching when its own new hardware goes on sale. The last thing Sprint wants is for its EVO 4G LTE to go head-to-head on launch day with the One X. As it happened, the One X reached the market about six weeks ahead of the EVO 4G LTE.