Sunday, November 01, 2009

Samsung Moment and SERO - Thoughts


picture-9.pngRemember when Sprint started requiring folks to give up their old grandfathered plans in favor of more expensive ones for new “popular” handsets?

As I pointed out on Mopocket, the policy is not consistent with all new handsets- Windows Mobile and Blackberries, for example, do not have this requirement- in fact, you can buy a Windows Mobile phone without even a data plan at all. We were hoping the new Android-powered HTC Hero would be part of this category, but alas, it appears the new “Everything Plan” policy is in effect for that as well.

The theory is that Sprint enforces this policy on their “exclusive” handsets. That is, the Palm Pre, Samsung Instinct, andHTC Hero are all exclusive to Sprint and therefore may be attracting new customers. These new customers are probably willing to pay a little more monthly for the phone (especially since the new plans are still cheaper than what they were probably paying before). Windows Mobile and Blackberry, however, exist on every carrier already. There has been no official response from Sprint confirming or denying this, however the pattern seems awfully clear.

So when Sprint released the new Samsung Moment, which is perhaps what became of the fabled Samsung InstinctQ, it seemed silly to get our hopes up. The Instinct brand of handsets have all required the new Everything plans up until now, so between that and the decision to make the Hero an everything phone, it would seem that the Moment is clearly going to have this requirement as well.

But wait, here’s something we weren’t expecting…

As fellow blogger Morts pointed out to me this evening, the online phone upgrade system warns you that you may have to change your plan when you select the Palm Pre, HTC Hero or Instinct. But when you select the Samsung Moment, it allows you to process the order without any mention of plan changes. Morts actually tried to do this from his old grandfathered SERO account (, which Sprint has been trying to phase out and getting very strict about lately.

Now, this doesn’t prove anything… many disgruntled users have been sold the Instinct or Pre by tele-sales only to find out they weren’t able to activate it on their plan once they received it. What’s different here is that if you order it online it usually warns you first with a popup before you proceed to the shopping cart. It doesn’t for the Moment.

This might actually fit with our theory regarding Sprint’s policy: The HTC Hero has an exclusive award-winning HTC Sense-UI interface on it, which is currently exclusive to Sprint. The Moment has the same stock Google Experience that the T-Mobile G1 and MyTouch have, which means it is hardly an exclusive experience.

So, will the Moment be compatible with grandfathered plans such as SERO? We haven’t had any confirmation yet as the phone was just released today, but we will try and find out tomorrow and report back. Meanwhile, any legacy/grandfathered plans out there want to chime in with your experience?