Clearwire's board of directors has approved Sprint's increased bid for the company. It is recommending that shareholders vote in favor of accepting the bid and allowing Sprint to purchase the remaining portion of Clearwire that it does not already own. Sprint increased its offer for Clearwire from $2 billion to $2.5 billion to win over investors unhappy with the original offer.
At a press briefing this morning, Cricket revealed that it plans to enable LTE roaming later this year on bands 4 (1700) and 25 (1900). Band 25 LTE is used exclusively by Sprint in the U.S. Band 4 (AWS) is used by many carriers, including T-Mobile, AT&T, and soon, Verizon. The Samsung Galaxy S 4 will be Cricket's first phone to support band 25 roaming.
Sprint today announced plans to offer its first tri-band LTE products later this summer. The three devices include the Novatel Wireless MiFi 500 LTE, the Netgear Zing Mobile Hotspot, and the Netgear 341U USB Modem. All three devices will be able to access LTE in the 800MHz, 1900MHz, and 2.5GHz bands. Right now, Sprint is primarily deploying LTE in the 1900MHz band, but it will begin to offer LTE in the 800MHz band starting later this year after Sprint shuts down its iDEN network on June 30. The 800MHz spectrum will offer better in-building coverage when compared to the 1900MHz spectrum. Sprint has officially launched LTE in 88 markets, but it says it will cover 170 markets in the coming months. The 2.5GHz spectrum is currently owned by Clearwire, and Sprint says it will eventually be used to offer high-speed service in densely populated regions. The exact pricing and availability details of the three tri-band LTE devices will be announced at a later time. Sprint has not yet said when it will offer tri-band LTE smartphones.
Sprint today announced that its prepaid brands Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA will both offer the Samsung Galaxy S III beginning in June. The GSIII will include support for Sprint's LTE 4G network. Pricing and exact availability was not shared.
Sprint today submitted a revised offer for Clearwire and increased its bid from $2.97 per share to $3.40 per share, now totaling about $2.5 billion. Sprint hopes the improved offer will give Clearwire's board and investors the incentive they need to approval the deal. Sprint is looking to purchase the 50% of Clearwire that it does not already own in order to gain control over the company's 2.5GHz spectrum holdings, as well as ease SoftBank's 70% equity acquisition of Sprint. SoftBank had initially limited Sprint's bid to $2.97, but has approved the new offer. Though Clearwire's board approved the initial offer, it met fierce resistance from several large shareholders who were unhappy with the terms. Clearwire's board will assess the new proposal and make a new recommendation to shareholders, who will vote on the matter May 30.
Kyocera's water-proof Hydro gains a better-equipped cousin in the Hydro Edge for Sprint and Boost. Packing better tech into a thinner profile, the Edge is a step up on paper, but how does it stack up in person? We take it for a quick spin in our hands-on report.
Kyocera today announced the Hydro Edge and Hydro XTRM, building on the success of the original Hydro. Like the original, the new models are affordable Android phones that are fully water-proof. The new models are slightly higher-end, however, both sporting a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus processor, 4-inch glass display, 5-megapixel auto-focus camera, and Android 4.1. Both models also feature the unique Smart Sonic Receiver tissue-conduction speaker technology found in the Torque. Both have 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of built-in storage, and a memory card slot.
- Hydro Edge: Coming to Sprint and Boost this summer, this CDMA model also sports HD Voice and a back-side-illuminated camera sensor. Its processor clocks in at 1 GHz.
- Hydro XTRM: On sale with U.S. Cellular starting today, this model steps up with 4G LTE, a 1.2 Ghz processor, a front camera, shock (drop) resistance to military standards, and a large 2,000 mAh battery.
Sprint today announced that SoftBank granted it a waiver to hold further negotiations with Dish. The waiver means Sprint has permission to divulge non-public information to Dish as part of its due diligence in exploring Dish's competing offer for Sprint. The waiver also gives Sprint permission to terminate its existing merger agreement with SoftBank if it turns out there is a superior offer on the table. Sprint said that its board will explore Dish's offer in depth per its fiduciary duty to obtain the best sale price for the company. However, Sprint's board does not endorse the Dish offer, and continues to endorse SoftBank's offer. The U.S. Department of Justice has approved SoftBank's offer, and the matter will be voted on by Sprint's investors on June 12. Sprint did not say if or when it might make a decision regarding Dish's competing offer.
Sprint today announced that it has acquired Handspring/OneLouder, a Kansas City-based company that it will add to its own Pinsight Media+ advertising business. Handspring has developed smartphone applications for more than a decade, and targeted platforms such as Palm OS and Windows Mobile with its informative and useful apps. The company later paired with OneLouder, an advertising business, to expand its offering. "Bringing the capabilities of Handmark and OneLouder in-house is an exciting move as we position Sprint for market leadership in emerging mobile products and services," said Mike Cooley, vice president of New Ventures at Sprint. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. There was no immediate word on what will happen to Handspring's mobile apps, but the OneLouder team will join Sprint's Pinsight Media+ arm.
Sprint today announced that it has finalized its purchase of spectrum and customers from U.S. Cellular in a handful of mid-western markets. The transaction gives Sprint 20MHz of spectrum in Chicago, South Bend, Ind., and Champaign, Ill., and 10MHz of spectrum in St. Louis. In addition to the spectrum, Sprint also gains about 420,000 U.S. Cellular subscribers. Sprint and U.S. Cellular have already notified the affected customers about the transition, which will take several months to complete. According to Sprint, it is offering those U.S. Cellular customers handset and service plan options from its Sprint, Virgin, Boost, and payLo brands at little to no extra cost. Sprint plans to use the newly-gained spectrum to enhance its capacity in those markets.
Dish Networks has filed a second request with the Federal Communications Commission asking the regulatory body to stop its review of Softbank's proposed equity acquisition of Sprint. This time around, Dish claims that Softbank is trying to block its attempt to buy Sprint though back-handed banking maneuvers. Last week, Reuters reported that Softbank threatened to keep Dish from participating in Alibaba's IPO if it didn't back down. "If SoftBank has the power to influence crucial financing decisions of a Chinese company and enlist those decisions in the service of its effort to acquire Sprint, then the proposed foreign ownership needs to be assessed in light of this Chinese company as well," said Dish. "SoftBank is trying to force its offer on Sprint's shareholders by underhandedly seeking to undermine a superior bid." The Securities and Exchange Commission has already given Softbank permission to move forward with its equity acquisition of Sprint and Sprint's shareholders are due to vote on the matter next month. The deal still needs to be approved by the FCC and U.S. Department of Justice. The FCC has not responded to Dish's request.
AT&T today announced a significant expansion of its It Can Wait program, which aims to educate consumers about the dangers of texting while driving. AT&T's competitors Sprint, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless all agreed to join the campaign, as did more than 200 other organizations. The campaign will make a concerted effort to raise awareness of the issue between Memorial Day and Labor Day, which AT&T says are the 100 deadliest days of the year for young drivers. The message will be spread via TV, radio, digital and social media and will feature stories of real-life survivors of text-message-related accidents. "Texting while driving is a deadly habit that makes you 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash," said AT&T Chairman & CEO Randall Stephenson. "Awareness of the dangers of texting and driving has increased, but people are still doing it. With this expanded effort, we hope to change behavior. Together, we can help save lives." Using handheld devices when behind the wheel is illegal in many states. The campaign kicks off May 20 and continues through September 19.
A new service provider called Zact today announced its unique plan offerings. The company offers a large range of sizes for voice, text messaging, and data buckets that can be mixed and matched in any way. Any custom plan can be shared among any number of devices for $5 per device. Plans can be managed and changed at any time via an app on the Android phone. The company uses the Sprint 4G LTE network and offers two phones: the LG Viper for $399 and LG Optimus Elite for $199. A "Never Overpay Guarantee" automatically bills you only for the cheapest plan that fits your usage, even if you picked a more expensive plan for that month. Example rates include $24.22 for 1 GB of data, $64.31 for 3 GB of data, $5.28 for 1,000 text messages, and $9.43 for 500 voice minutes. The company also offers app-specific unlimited data, such as $5/month for Facebook, $1/month for Candy Crush Saga, or $5/month for maps and navigation. The company also offers parental controls that work directly via the Zact app. Parents can set limits and curfews, and even approve contacts. Phones will start shipping in June.
Sprint's Network Vision project has been plagued by problems with its equipment providers, the company said in paperwork recently filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "During the second half of 2012, we experienced delays with vendor execution, backhaul connectivity delays, shortages in equipment such as fiber cable and antennas, as well as other regulatory and environmental issues," said Sprint. Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, and Samsung are the three companies providing Sprint with its networking gear, each of which is responsible for a select geographical area of the country. "However, we expect that we will recover from these delays and we are still forecasting to have the majority of the sites on-air by the end of 2013 with expected completion of Network Vision deployment by the middle of 2014." Sprint has been slow to deploy its LTE network, which first launched during the second quarter of 2012. It had expected to cover 250 million POPs with LTE by the end of 2013, but has revised that estimate downward to 200 million. It says it is still on track to reach 150 million POPs by the middle of 2013.
Sprint today announced that it has struck a large content distribution deal with Time Inc. Sprint will offer content from Time's brands through an application soon to be available for Android smartphones via the SprintZone storefront. The app will sync stories, photos, and videos automatically from Time properties, covering topics such as sports, lifestyle, entertainment, and business news. The application will be available to select Sprint smartphones, but Sprint didn't yet specify which ones. The deal also includes an advertising piece that will see Sprint and Time share ad campaigns across both companies' customer bases. Last, Sprint will be able to use Time's brands within its retail stores to showcase the capabilities of the smartphones it sells.
Clearwire today sent a letter to its shareholders regarding Sprint's take-over offer. Sprint offered to purchase the remaining 49% of Clearwire that it doesn't already own for $2.2 billion. The offer has met with stern disapproval from several large Clearwire shareholders. In today's letter, Clearwire explained that its board evaluated Sprint's offer thoroughly against various other options and concluded that Sprint's offer was not only a fair offer, but the best offer the company is likely to receive. Further, the board said it was able to raise Sprint's initially expected bid of $2.60 per share to $2.97 per share. The board hired an outside firm to evaluate Sprint's offer, and that firm, too, concluded that Sprint's offer was a fair one. Clearwire said major shareholders Comcast, Intel, and Brighthouse have all voiced support for Sprint and will vote in favor of its offer. Clearwire pointed out that other options are simply not feasible, nor in the best interest for shareholders. For example, its attempt to attract another wholesale customer never panned out, despite discussions with more than 100 firms. The company doesn't think a spectrum sale would solve its problems, nor would taking on more debt to help finance further restructuring. Last, Clearwire says that it would never be able to sell to a company other than Sprint due to Sprint's controlling stake and unwillingness to sell to a third party. Clearwire urged investors to vote in favor of the deal. Crest Financial and Aurelius Capital have opposed the deal vocally, and Aurelius Capital filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the deal.
Softbank today said that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has approved its plan to purchase a 70% equity stake in Sprint. With the SEC review complete, Softbank said that Sprint will now mail its shareholders the information they need to vote on the purchase. The vote has been scheduled for June 12. Softbank is urging Sprint's shareholders to approve the deal. If Sprint's shareholders do in fact approve the deal, Softbank is confident that it will close its equity purchase by July 1. "The successful completion of the SEC review and the commencing of the mailing of the definitive proxy statement demonstrate the continued rapid progress we are making in closing our transaction with Sprint," said Softbank. "We are pleased with this progress and believe that our ability to fund our investment in Sprint within a matter of weeks will enable Sprint to continue and accelerate its capital investment plans in 2013 and beyond. Our investment will better position Sprint to win in the ultra-competitive U.S. wireless marketplace, drive subscriber growth, and create significant shareholder value." Separately, Sprint has a special action committee evaluating a full acquisition offer from Dish Networks. Sprint has not said if or when it will make a decision about Dish's competing offer.
Sprint today announced that it will fully shut down its legacy iDEN network within 60 days. The last full day of service will be June 29. Sprint will then begin to shut down the iDEN network on Sunday, June 30. The shutdown process involves taking the switches offline, followed by powering down cell sites and cutting off the backhaul. Thereafter, all services, including voice, data, and 911 emergency, will no longer be available to iDEN customers. Sprint first gave warning a year ago that it should shutter its iDEN network by June 30 of this year. Today's announcement falls inline with Sprint's previously discussed network-shutdown schedule. Sprint has been transitioning customers from iDEN to CDMA for several years. It is offering similar walkie-talkie services though its CDMA-based DirectConnect technology. The iDEN shutdown is part of Sprint's larger Network Vision project, which sees it realigning its network technologies across its varied spectrum holdings.
Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son said he believes Softbank's offer to purchase a 70% equity stake in Sprint is a better deal for Sprint than Dish Networks' take-over offer. "Some people ask me, Will SoftBank be increasing the price for the offer? Why should we? We are already providing a better deal than the Dish proposal," said Son while discussing the company's quarterly results. "Dish's offer includes statements that are misleading. It doesn't compare apples to apples. We can offer Sprint far more in terms of financing and expertise." Softbank proposed to buy into Sprint for $20 billion last October. Dish Networks announced its own acquisition offer of $25.5 billion on April 15. Sprint's shareholders are expected to vote on the Softbank deal June 12, but Sprint has formed a Special Action Committee to explore Dish's offer. The original Softbank deal is still undergoing regulatory scrutiny.
Sprint today said that it has enough inventory of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 on hand to begin sales via Sprint stores, telesales, and online. Sprint had expected to launch the GS4 earlier this month, but inventory constraints led to a brief delay. Sprint said it expects to receive new shipments of the GS4 daily moving forward.
Sprint today indicated that Softbank has made several exceptions to the merger agreement between the two companies that will allow Sprint to sign a non-disclosure agreement with Dish. Sprint formed a Special Action Committee earlier this month to evaluate Dish's proposed acquisition of Sprint for $25.5 billion. Sprint is holding separate discussions with Softbank, which is itself in the process of acquiring a 70% equity stake in Sprint. Softbank had to make exceptions to the legal documents already in place. As such, Sprint is not allowed to share non-public information with Dish, meaning Dish cannot look at Sprint's financials beyond its public quarterly and annual statements. Sprint is also not allowed to enter into any sort of negotiations with Dish regarding its offer. Sprint may only talk to Dish in order to get more information from the company concerning its proposal. Sprint said this will be the only time its Special Action Committee makes any sort of comment until after it has fully evaluated Dish's offer. It did not indicate how long the process might take.
Aurelius Capital has thrown its hat in the ring with Crest Financial in opposing Sprint's proposed buyout of Clearwire. Aurelius alleges that Sprint and Clearwire's boards of directors violated their legal obligations to obtain the best possible deal for Clearwire's minor shareholders. The company accused Sprint of dictating "manifestly unfair" terms with its $2.97 per share offer. The lawsuit was filed in Delaware. It's unclear how or if Aurelius' lawsuit will affect the share holder vote scheduled for May 21.
Sprint today indicated via its user forums that the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update is now ready for the Motorola Photon Q. The system update adds a wide range of new features to the Photon Q, including Google Now, Voice Search improvements, bug fixes, and camera enhancements. The update is being rolled out over the air in stages. Photon Q owners will be notified when their device is ready for the update.
AT&T today said that recommendations made earlier this month by the Department of Justice regarding future spectrum auctions are illegal and should be ignored by the Federal Communications Commission. The Justice Department suggested to the FCC that it set up rules to prevent the nation's largest holders of spectrum from amassing more in future auctions. Further, the Justice Department argued that the nation's smaller carriers be given a fair chance to purchase low-frequency spectrum to combat the massive 700MHz holdings owned by AT&T and Verizon Wireless. In a letter to the FCC, AT&T senior EVP and General Counsel Wayne Watts wrote, "It is surprising that the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice would even propose measures that are so nakedly designed to help specific companies. The Commission's mandate under the Communications Act is to promote the competitive process, not to pick winners and losers in that process. Rigging spectrum auctions to favor Sprint and T-Mobile would be unlawful." Watts lays out 10 pages worth of scathing arguments and discussion about what he calls uninformed musings by the Justice Department. Watts concludes by saying, "The record overwhelmingly supports spectrum aggregation policies that apply equally to all providers by employing a safe harbor spectrum screen that includes, and treats equally, all suitable available spectrum. A spectrum screen ... coupled with case-by-case review for transactions that exceed the screen, strikes the appropriate regulatory balance The Department's contrary view of an auction that is designed to favor particular competitors would be unlawful and completely unwarranted as a matter of public policy and should be rejected."
The Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York City today announced that wireless service from AT&T and T-Mobile USA is now available at a total of 36 subway stations sprinkled throughout Manhattan. The bulk of the stations are concentrated on the 123, ACE, NQR, L, and S lines around major transit hubs, such as Times Square, Columbus Circle, Rockefeller Center, and Union Square. In addition to cellular wireless service, Boingo Wireless is also offering access to free, ad-based Wi-Fi in these same stations. The MTA said that it is in discussions with Sprint and Verizon Wireless to bring their services to the NYC subway system later this year. The MTA has been working on this project for years with partner Transit Wireless. This is the first major expansion since the service launched in 2011.
Sprint today followed T-Mobile USA in announcing a slight delay of its planned availability of the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Sprint initially expected to offer the device through all sales channels beginning Saturday, April 27. Now, it expects to have only online and telesales availability on the 27th, with retail availability to follow at a later, unspecified date. As with T-Mobile, Sprint cited unforeseen inventory problems for the delay.
The BlackBerry Q10 will reach AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless stores by late May, according to various reports. Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal both report that the Q10's price tag will be $249, but none of the U.S. network operators have announced firm availability and pricing details. The Q10 will be the second BlackBerry 10 device to reach the market after the Z10. It differs from the Z10 in that it has a smaller screen and a QWERTY keyboard.
Geeksphone today announced the availability of two developer phones running Firefox OS. The Keon and Peak were revealed earlier this year and were initially expected to go on sale in February. Both phones run the newest version of Firefox OS (previously known to as Boot-to-Gecko). Firefox OS is an open mobile platform based on Linux and HTML5. It uses web standards to run apps in lieu of a traditional operating system. Mozilla is giving Firefox OS to carriers and handset makers for free as a low-cost alternative to mainstream smartphone platforms. The Keon is an entry-level developer device with a 3.5-inch HVGA display, 1GHz processor and 3-megapixel camera. The Peak is a mid-range device with a 4.3-inch qHD display, dual-core 1.2GHz processor, and 8-megapixel camera. The Keon costs $119 and the Peak costs $194. Both ZTE and Alcatel have committed to launching Firefox OS devices this year, and Sprint said it would be interested in selling Firefox OS-based devices when they become available.
Dish Networks has filed paperwork with the Federal Communications Commission asking the agency to defer taking any action with respect to Softbank's bid to acquire a 70% equity stake in Sprint. Dish made a surprise $25.5 billion bid for Sprint on April 15. "Because Dish's merger proposal is currently before the Sprint board of directors, the question of which transaction the commission ultimately should be deciding is unsettled," said Dish in the filing. Sprint has formed an internal committee to evaluate Dish's offer, which comes in at a premium over Softbank's $20 billion bid. Softbank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son said earlier this week he is confident that his deal with Sprint will close by July. At least one major Sprint shareholder said that it prefers the Dish offer to Softbank's. Sprint has not indicated when it will make a decision on the matter.
The HTC One is available for sale at AT&T and Sprint stores beginning today. Both carriers are selling the silver 32GB model for $199.99 with a new contract. AT&T is also offering the 64GB model for $299.99, and HTC said that AT&T will offer the 32GB black model in the coming weeks. In addition to the carrier stores, the One can be purchased at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Walmart, Target, Amazon.com, Costco, Sam's Club, HSN.com, and HTC.com. T-Mobile announced that the HTC One (silver, 32GB) is available online beginning today and will be in stores in select retail outlets starting April 24. T-Mobile is asking for a downpayment of $99.99 for the One, in addition to 24 monthly payments of $20.
Sprint today said that it is working with existing partner C Spire Wireless to offer LTE roaming to C Spire's customers. In order to do this, Sprint has to make it possible to roam across multiple spectrum bands. "We are working closely on a technical solution for intercarrier 4G roaming between our network and others," said Dan Hesse, speaking at the Competitive Carrier Association conference. Specifically, the technology will have to let devices roam between the 700MHz, 850MHz, and 1900MHz bands. Sprint is currently operating it LTE network in its PCS 1900MHz spectrum, but plans to add LTE to other bands down the road. C Spire Wireless launched its own LTE service last year in the AWS 1700MHz and PCS 1900MHz bands. The companies did not say when they expect LTE roaming to become available.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse today revealed that its LTE 4G network is now live and available to customers in Los Angeles, Charlotte, Memphis, and 20 other markets. Those markets include: Contra Costa County, Calif.; Palm Bay, Port St. Lucie, and West Palm Beach, Fla.; Bloomington, Ind.; Rochelle, Ill.; Mankato/North Mankato, Minn.; Joplin, Mo.; Albemarle, Lincolnton, Salisbury, and Shelby, N.C.; Greenville and Tullahoma, Tenn.; Denison and Kerrville, Texas; and Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Newport News, Va.
Sprint today announced its specific launch details of the Samsung Galaxy S 4. The GS4 will be available at Sprint stores beginning April 27 and will cost $249.99 with a new line of service or eligible upgrade. Sprint is offering a $100 discount on the GS4's price to new customers who switch their number from a different carrier, which drops the out-of-pocket cost to $149.99. Preorders for the Galaxy S 4 begin April 18. Sprint's Unlimited Everything plans start at $79.99 per month.
Samsung today announced that the Galaxy S 4 will be available from seven different wireless network operators before the end of April. The four national carriers, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless, as will smaller carriers U.S. Cellular, Cricket, and C Spire, will each have customized variants of the device specific for their 4G LTE and 3G networks. Samsung said that individual carriers will announce exact availability and pricing during the course of the next few weeks. In addition to carrier availability, the GS4 can also be purchased at various electronics stores, including Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile, Costco, Radio Shack, Sam's Club, Staples, Target, and Wal-Mart. The Galaxy S 4 has a 5-inch FHD display, 1.9GHz quad-core processor, 13-megapixel camera, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and tons of Samsung software, including Air View and Air Gesture, Drama Shot and Eraser Shot, and Easy Mode and a customizable notification tray. Last, Samsung revealed a few more details about accessories for the GS4. The S View Flip Cover has a window through which GS4 owners can read text messages, answer or reject calls, and view the battery status. The S View Flip Cover, which is sold separately, retails for $59.99. Availability details of the cover were not shared.
Verizon Wireless has thrown its hat into the Sprint-Clearwire-Softbank-Dish mashup with an offer of its own. The company recently offered to lease portions of Clearwire's spectrum for $1.5 billion. The paperwork, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, only named the bidder as "Party J," but The Wall Street Journal says insiders peg the company as Verizon. In the filing, Clearwire said it would discuss the proposal with "Party J" and Sprint. Sprint is currently attempting to purchase the 49% of Clearwire that it does not already own. It's not clear why Sprint would allow Verizon to lease spectrum that it itself is attempting to gain control over. It's also unclear whether or not the federal government would allow such a deal to move forward. Last week, the Justice Department told the Federal Communications Commission that the agency needs to give smaller providers a better chance of competing with companies such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
Dish Networks today offered to purchase Sprint for $25.5 billion in cash and stock in a bid that competes with Japan's Softbank. Softbank is hoping to acquire a 70% equity stake in Sprint for about $20 billion. The deal has been under review since last year. Dish Networks' offer comes in at a 13% premium over Softbank's original terms. The deal would give control of Sprint to Dish, though there are no details yet about how the company would be structured. "Sprint is in play," said Dish Chairman Charles Ergen said in an interview in with The Wall Street Journal. "We think we've made an offer that's much more compelling than the Softbank transaction." In addition to being the CEO, Ergen is also the largest shareholder of Dish Networks. Earlier this year, Dish attempted to buy Clearwire after Sprint had already made an offer to buy the remaining shares of the struggling WiMax company. However, Sprint's take-over of Clearwire, itself a sticking point for closing the Softbank deal, is in jeopardy thanks to unsatisfied Clearwire investors. Dish has long sought to become a player in the wireless business, and it sees Sprint as the right opportunity. According to The Journal, Sprint brought in $35.3 billion in revenue in 2012, while Dish brought in only $14.3 billion. A combined entity would carry more than $36 billion in debt, which does not include a $9 billion loan Dish would take in order to purchase Sprint. Neither Sprint nor Softbank offered comment on the unsolicited bid from Dish. Sprint's executives and board of directors now have a legal obligation to pick the deal that's best for Sprint's shareholders.
Crest Financial, an investor that opposes Sprint's proposed take-over of Clearwire, took firmer steps towards preventing the deal from taking place. Crest filed a preliminary proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission that will be used to urge Clearwire stockholders to reject the proposed merger. Crest has argued for months that Sprint's offer significantly undervalues Clearwire's worth. Sprint initially offered $2.91 per share, but later raised its offer to $2.97 per share. Sprint's maximum offer was limited by Softbank, the Japanese carrier that is in the process of acquiring a 70% s take in Sprint.
Sprint today announced that Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean is ready for the Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE. The system software, which can be downloaded and installed over the air, adds Google Now, Android Beam, Project Butter, actionable notifications, and Swype, as well as giving Google Maps indoor walking directions and Zagat ratings. The update is free to install and use.
HTC today announced details of the U.S. marketing campaign for its One flagship phone. A major component will be three different kinds of pop-up locations in 11 major markets. HTC BoomSound Lounges open today in major plazas of New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. The lounges let consumers experience the One's BoomSound speakers in person, and will host intimate concerts with artists such as Pharrell and Grouplove. Next week, the company will open pop-up stores in major malls in eight cities. The stores consist of a "large, playful, interactive exhibit" that will showcase BlinkFeed, Zoe, and Sense TV. In addition, the company will partner with movie theaters, offering demos of the One in the lobby. The One is available for pre-order today from AT&T and Sprint, shipping April 19th. T-Mobile will offer it "later this spring."
Sprint today announced that it, too, will offer the HTC One smartphone beginning April 19. The device can be preordered beginning April 5, and will cost $199.99 with a new contract. Sprint is selling only the 32 GB variant, in both black and silver.