Sprint Playbook leak

Thanks to an anonymous friend, we have our hands on the latest edition of the Sprint Playbook, and this time it's chock full of news about everything from rebates to device launches.  Some of it confirms what we already knew, some reinforces some rumors floating around, and some is stuff we've not thought of yet.  Hit the break and have a look.

Thanks, Anon!

Android Central

Let's start with the things that affect your wallet:

  • Reps have been told to "Proactively offer to do an override for Silver customers who would have been eligible by 7/31/11."  Don't be shy about asking for your yearly update if you recently lost it, and would have been due before the end of the month.
  • Starting July 24, "TEP will increase from $7 to $8. The ERP standalone will increase from $4 to $5."  It's going to cost a buck more, but still well worth the investment if you ever need to use it.  There will also be an open enrollment for TEP during the entire month of August if you declined when you activated your phone.
  • Starting July 23, "Pricing will convert all MIRs to instant savings at the point of sale ends".  This means mail-in rebates are coming back, and this time around you'll be getting an AMEX prepaid card in lieu of a check.

 Android Central

Android Central

We've also got some device launches:

Last but not least, we see how things are gonna be now that Sprint stands alone in the unlimited data plan department, as they take a shot at Verizon:

Don't get burned by the competition. Sprint protects you from tiered data and data overage charges, unlike Verizon.

Android Central

Yeah.  They went there.

 
There are 58 comments

jimbo says:

It should be clear to all who evaluate, Sprint provides the best service in practically all coverage areas in the US for the best price. Sprint's customer service, if needed, is also outstanding.

Of course there will always be a few who cannot evaluate effectively.

And the sweet icing on the cake is Sprint offers and supports the best smartphones currently available - the HTC smartphones.

Meh....Sprint also has the last number of QWERTY phones available. After 8 months with the EVO I will never go back to a keyboardless phone. Too damn slow, prediction sucks since I use a TON of words not in the dictionary (So I need to stop, add it, carry on.), and frankly the keyboard in landscape takes up too much space even on a screen the size of what is on an EVO.

Right now all Sprint has is the Epic and NO way in hell will I ever buy Samsung. Wish Sprint would get a few Moto QWERTY phones.

I have been hardcore HTC for a while, but after jumping ship from T-Mobile I went with the Epic this March as it was the best phone available. I honestly have no regrets and the phone has been rock solid. I am rooted, have a custom rom, and overclocked to 1.3GHz with zero problems. I know they had quality issues and the update to Froyo wasn't smooth by anybodies opinion but who cares? We are in the land of Gingerbread and I am loving my Epic. Don't hate on Samsung because of former mistakes. If I knew that I could get a Galaxy Sii by the end of July I would hold out for that but it looks like my next phone is gonna be the Photon unless the in store demo sucks.

Let the Moto bashing begin... (screw it, with a tegra 2 I can take the haters)

bumpandrun says:

Am I missing something, can't you get the Evo Shift?

VDub2174 says:

Don't know what keyboard you're using but with all the ones I've used my EVO, all you have to do it tap on the word you typed to add it to the dictionary......it takes all of 1 second to do so. Also, I had the Epic 4G for a while and really liked it especially after I rooted it and added a custom ROM.

cav22 says:

While I understood your frustration with the keyboard on the EVO, all of that goes away with Swiftkey X and or the EVO Shift. Swiftkey is what saved typing on the EVO for me. It's prediction is very good and automatically learns from your typing patterns so it gets better the more you use it. The only valid point is that the Keyboards take too much realestate on the screen when in landscape but if you want to go that direction then get a EVO shift and Swiftkey and you have the best of both worlds. The main limiting factor of the device is the smaller screen but it is still larger than many of your other QWERTY devices.

dyinman says:

Well, they definitely have the best prices. Their customer service has greatly improved in the last few years. However, their network is severely disappointing. I'm lucky to get 200-300kbps on a good day on 3g any more, and I have a strong signal. It's just getting too crowded in here, or Sprint really needs to improve their network.

eric6052 says:

Sprint has really been coming out all guns blazing lately between this ad and the lengths they've gone to in fighting the unholy union of AT&T and T-Mobile, and I'm all for it. They are working hard to convince potential customers that they are a real alternative and I'm glad they're there to offer an alternative to the upcoming duopoly. I am personally looking to switch when my Verizon contract is up, partly to save money but mostly to get a nexus phone that we know Verizon would never sell.

El Jefe says:

But Verizon's 4G works indoors, has faster download speeds than WiMAX & they don't cap their upload speeds.

http://www.androidcentral.com/sprint-reportedly-boosting-4g-upload-speed...

jimbo says:

Upload speed differential is not relevant for the practically all. Download speed is important. The battery drain of LTE is what users find most disconcerting.

Chris says:

So uploading a video to Youtube/Facebook at 3.5Mbps (Average) is about the same as 1.5Mbps (Peak)?

Its not LTE, its that there are no dual-mode LTE chipsets yet. Qualcomm is releasing those later this year. When that happens LTE phones will get the same battery life that we currently get on 3G smartphones.....if not better.

eagle63 says:

Wimax's battery drain sucks hard too. Plus, I've found the coverage is so fragile that taking 2 steps to the left or right can mean the difference between 3 bars of coverage and zero bars. I blame Sprint's lousy 2500 mhz for that. Doesn't matter if it's Wimax or LTE - crappy spectrum is crappy spectrum.

xorg says:

WiMAX _does_ work indoors. It works in my condo, it works at my desk at work in middle of building, it works many places indoors. The towers need to be closer together than at VZW 700Mhz but it is very misleading to say WiMAX doesn't work indoors, as it just depends on location and how far from tower. Is fair to say that VZW likely works indoors in more locations but incorrect to say WiMAX doesn't ever work indoors. A friend with Thunderbolt has found some indoor locations where LTE doesn't work.

I agree and also would like to add that not all WiMax modems are created equally. I know it is a higher wattage transceiver but my G73 Asus laptop screams on WiMax anywhere I have coverage, which is just about everywhere except the train. For that I have a tablet and tethering from my smartphone... Average download speeds here in Portland, OR on my laptop average 15Mb/s down and 190KB/s up... I am a happy camper. Screw the haters and Verizon fanboys!

mhmmdy123 says:

That`s just commercial link from Androidcentral, that`s all. I just return my TBOLT to VZW,inside the house with it 4G not more than one bar and on the 3G one and sometime nothing, and am living in VZW 4G network am in Canton,MI area, which my EVO has 3-4 bars inside the house and faster than VZW. And one more thing to your info I been with Sprint 9 years I had few drop call all these years BUT with VZW TBOLT on I-96 I had few call drop. On Sprint you get what they promising, NOT what the commercial says.So do your own test in the real world, than come back tell your story later.

mankows5 says:

I agreen I am in Canton as well. Drive to detroit quite a bit and I never have a problem with drop calls. My service is great everywhere I go in my house and out and about. and my bill is alot cheaper than my friends with VZ.

Benn with sprint 10 years this coming fall.

?? I get 4G indoors.

bumpandrun says:

If you can get it? My friends here in Central NC (from Raleigh to Winston Salem) have all gone out and bought 3G phones because they are sick and tired of waiting for 4G. I've had my Wimax 4G for over a year here in Burlington/Graham and get very good service. Verizon started 4G in Lumberton, NC a while back but still doesn't have it in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill (which includes the Research Triangle). That's great thinking!

VDub2174 says:

That's funny cause WiMAX works perfectly fine for me indoors.

danisnotstan says:

I was among the previous gold customers until the change a few months ago. I recently called tech support and while trouble shooting was surprised to hear the tech go into a sales pitch! He mentioned that I was "premier general "b" gold" and I was eligible for the yearly upgrade that I had taken away with their change. I just upgraded in January and had no idea why he was telling me this. I asked if he could email me proof for when it does come time to upgrade and he claimed he had nothing to send me, he was just reading what it said on his screen. He said he would note my account. I logged on to my online account and it still said "welcome back silver premier customer". He called me back the next day to follow up and I questioned this and he claimed my gold status was only valid at a sprint corporate store, not best buy, etc, that's why it said silver online. I thought this was strange so I went to a sprint store. The rep pulled up my account and said it still says silver but he did see and read back the techs notes and he did note I'm gold for what it's worth. Being that I used my yearly upgrade in January before they made the switch I'm still confused why the tech would mention this. I didn't ask about it... I was calling about a problem with my airave! This certainly doesn't sound like offering an over ride since I'm not eligible for 6 more months. Hmm.... Then again, sprint does some funny things sometimes... I recently bought a used evo... I brought it to the store ready to pay $35 to fix the "b spot" on the screen. The manager actually suggested that I add tep on to the evo to avoid paying the $35 and then cancel the tep! I did this then I brought the phone home and after 2 hrs on the phone with tech support I went back to the store and the tech determined that gingerbread borked my sms. He said it was happening to a small number of evos after the update. He then noticed I only activated the evo a few days prior and he must've assumed I bought the phone from them because with no questions asked he gave me a free new evo! They didn't even keep the SD card or charger and even gave me the new battery haha

rustymini says:

They will tier eventually when they start their LTE network,and get the iPhone or some other extravegant phone.Unfortunately everything is going up.

bumpandrun says:

Some other extravagant phone? Sprint has the best phones on the market.

You got a kool aide mustache bro

I believe what they are saying when they state "mail in rebates will be converted to instant rebates at point of sale" means there is no more mir... This well much like Radio Shack. Radio Shack offers instant rebates rather than instant rebates to make the phones cheaper in store. This takes place at the P.O.S. Rather than waiting for amir... I don't know this for fact however this us the way I read what was on the roadmap. I will follow up with my sprint rep in the AM...

right. That promotion ends 7/23 according to the playbook (3rd pic)

Oh I see... Sorry about that! Hell, all the more reason to go to a third party dealer like Best Buy or Radio Shack!

I really hope your right because when I get to work in the morning and I officially read the Playbook and see the MIR's are coming back we all are going to be very upset if you think about it our customers are by now used to instant rebate so they come back oh sorry you have to pay 130 bucks for a 30 dollar phone there going to say SEE YA and walk out it has happened to many times to count.

bumpandrun says:

Out the door and straight to Best Buy.

pmjohnson99 says:

Hey! Anyone notice the Samsung Nexus 4G will go for $99. That ain't bad and may help pave the way for the GSII!

Hmmmm Lets see 5 Gigs a month with Strong 4G in doors for 109.99+Tax or 60 Gigs a month with moderate 4G indoors for 81.00(tax included) a month

TOUGH CHOICE Aye?

If you were being sarcastic against Sprint I would look over how much in savings. 30 bucks is A TON to this day in age mid class person believe me I deal with them daily. Sprint wins when it comes to Pricing now advanced 4G technology Verizon has the money .... I wonder why?

mhmmdy123 says:

I had VZW TBOLT, for ten days,I feel sorry for you guys on the what do you called 4G, I drove Around in the VZW 4G not all what you are talking about,It`s no different from Sprint 4G in most cases, the only differents is there is $29.99 more @ month on VZW.
I did returned the TBOLT, even the Best Buy REP. said the VZW it`s charging too much for the same network. So good luck with your WZV krowten, Body.

BKVic says:

Just wondering why Sprint added the 9.99 charge for Verizon Navigation?? Does anyone really pay for it on a Android phone when Google Nav is as good as it is??

BKVic

svargas05 says:

They added it because Sprint gives it to you regardless while other carriers would charge.

Hell they should even add the charge to Verizon for Nights & Wknds starting at 7pm. Sprint throws that in the mix too.

Sprint's got it going on.....

BKVic says:

OK sure Sprint includes their version of Nav but who really uses it?? I took a trip with a friend of mine and he had his Tom Tom, I swear my Droid X was just as good, if not better, then his stand alone unit. Does anyone really use Sprint Nav over Google Nav??
BKVic

p1eric says:

I prefer the aesthetics of Telenav over Google Nav but I don't use it anymore. Google is just too easy to use since its integrated with maps so I tolerate the annoying computer voice. In my experience I've found that it is just as accurate as Telenav. I do think its a great app though and a good option non-android devices.

Xbbfan73 says:

Can someone explain this to me...I hv a yearly ugrade in September. Went into a Sprnt store the other day for a technical problem. Ask how their upgrades work since I was new to Sprint. Rep told me that I would have to purchase a phone at full retail price to use my $75 off. Is this accurate? I'm getting conflictng info. If I go in for an upgrade at my year mark, I will have to pay the full retail price? And if I bought a used phone, can I get it activated for my existing number?

kd0axs says:

What that rep told you was a bit misleading. You would be buying the phone at full price, minus the $75 discount.

If you were eligible for the full $150 discount, you also get a rebate and/or other discounts so you end up paying the same price that a new customer would.

bumpandrun says:

And by full price they mean the price on contract, not the actual full price.

danibal says:

Well that sucks. I'm eligible for my yearly upgrade (if I was still gold) on 8/1. I think I'm still going to call them tomorrow and see if I can't talk them into an upgrade. Although, I really just want to wait for the GSII.

Nirvana328 says:

If they really wanted to go for the jugular, they should have included a section on the table that shows the savings vs those verizon plans over the course of a typical 2 year plan.

Im sorry Sprint I work for you but seriously we were very much fine with the MIR GONEEE and hoping for them to FOREVER GONE. Yea we have dealt with these since day one but business will get slow about this time of days and then increase to 8$ well we knew about this already but this is just the icing on the cake. I love you Sprint but take that stand and get ride of those MIR's Please and Thank You.

English?

tompro53 says:

Does the who would have been eligible by 7/31/11 mean you could get the upgrade added to your account by then or you have until that day to use the upgrade or then have to wait unfilled your 2 year contract is up.

bumpandrun says:

Never heard of "eligible by". You become eligible for the one year upgrade discount when you have been on your current plan for a year. You remain eligible for that upgrade until you have completed the plan and then you are eligible for the full discount.

No Galaxy S 2 is a bummer.

r-nice says:

It'll come.

dchawk81 says:

Re: MIR

I'll just go to Best Buy...again.

Impulses says:

I use TeleNav, and I'm glad it's free... Why? Google Nav still doesn't work in Puerto Rico, and TeleNav is solid and updated often. To Google we're neither foreign nor part of the US, PR is in some kind of forsaken grey area. Half the Google services work fine in PR (an HI and V.I.), including the Market, other location services, Music, etc; and yet some of the more crucial services still don't work, Google Nav, Voice, etc.

If TeleNav wasn't free I would've had to pay for a decent app with turn by turn navigation... Though truth be told, half the time I just open Google Maps (which does work) and I follow my route there, sans spoken turn by turn directions. I'm still glad for TeleNav when I'm somewhere very unfamiliar tho.

gregba says:

So can I get out of my contract for free because of the TEP fee increase? ( I have no idea what that is by the way)

andycarr82 says:

No. TEP is an optional service that can be removed at anytime. Therefore, if you're unhappy with the change, you could just drop TEP--problem solved.

squiggie says:

I called Sprint when I received news of the increase to ask about being let out of contract for this and they said the exact same thing, it is an optional service. ***EXCEPT*** they gave me a $1 credit for each line I had on my account for each month left on my contract. Now that is probably one of the most outstanding customer service experiences I have ever had. Sprint is really stepping it up and is coming very close to T-Mobile in the customer service aspect of their business. Hmmm...maybe the JD Power & Associates award will be heading their way this year......

dabaum says:

Sprint might be cheaper but it simply doesn't work in the areas I travel for work. I would love to save money, but I love to be able to use my smartphone more.

dchawk81 says:

I do sympathize with folks who have no choice but to pay more for VZW.

JayWill says:

No mention of the Samsung Conquer at all, which I thought was supposed to be released at the end of July. Not that I care personally, but it seems like Sprint doesn't care either. They'd rather highlight the Replenish in berry color than a new device? *boggle*

stefpap says:

Anyone have luck with this new push for upgrades yet? I contacted customer service through the Sprint website and tried to see what I could get. My phone would have been eligible for a 1-year Gold Premier upgrade on 6/1/2011 prior to the change which knocked me down to a Sprint Silver Premier customer.

I got offered an additional $75 (total of $150) off the phone for a new two-year commitment, but no Mail-In or Instant Rebates.

Seems like this new playbook hasn't been solidified, and perhaps CSR's are still being told to not offer everything proactively.

Or maybe it's really just something that should be asked in person at a Sprint Corporate store?

Thoughts?

3D Diva says:

Yes u have to come into a Corporate store....if u are a premier customer then we will be able to see in your notes that u can use your 2yr upgrade

3D Diva says:

Wow its crazy how u got this info....i work for Sprint and its crazy how they are bringing back MIR....it def will slow up business....