Wednesday, August 1, 2001

PalmPower interview: inside the Sprint PCS wireless computing strategy

THE PALMPOWER INTERVIEW

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FIGURE A

Jay Highley, Vice President of Business Marketing, Sprint PCS (click for larger image)

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Earlier this year, Palm, Inc. and Sprint PCS announced an agreement to market and sell wireless solutions for handhelds using the Palm OS platform. This resulted in the recent release of the Sprint PCS Phone QCP-6035 by Kyocera and the upcoming full-color-screen SPH-I300 from Samsung. In this exclusive interview, Editor-in-Chief David Gewirtz speaks with Jay Highley, Vice President of Business Marketing at Sprint PCS to learn more about this ground-breaking strategic relationship.

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On April 11, 2001 Sprint PCS announced it would carry the Sprint PCS Phone QCP-6035 by Kyocera as part of its strategic alliance with Palm announced in January. This smartphone combines the functionality of a Palm handheld and the features of a Sprint PCS phone to access content from the Sprint PCS Wireless Web via a co-branded MyPalm portal. The QCP-6035 was reviewed in the July 2001 issue of PalmPower's Enterprise Edition at http://www.palmpowerenterprise.com/issues/issue200107/kyocera001.html. It's pictured in Figure B.

FIGURE B

The Kyocera QCP 6035 is thin, lightweight, and pleasantly styled. (click for larger image)

Around the same time, Samsung Telecommunications America and Sprint PCS announced the companies' intentions to develop a wireless handset with the Palm OS in a compact, full-color-screen device. The SPH-I300 is the result of that, and it's pictured in Figure C.

FIGURE C

The SPH-I300 combines a full-color Palm OS with a Sprint PCS phone. (click for larger image)

Jay Highley, Vice President of Business Marketing for Sprint PCS and his team are responsible for all four &quot;Ps&quot; of the marketing mix: product, place, promotion, and pricing. Recently, Editor-in-Chief David Gewirtz had a chance to speak with Highley about the strategic relationship between Palm, Inc. and Sprint PCS that resulted in these two stunning products.

DG:

Can you tell us about the relationship between Sprint PCS and Palm?

JH:

Our relationship with Palm is really pretty ground breaking and pretty innovative in the marketplace. I don't think you've ever seen a major wireless player join together with the world leader in handheld mobile computing devices. So, we see this relationship as really significant, and it really creates a lot of opportunity for our customers.

The relationship is made up of three key areas. The first of which is that we want to co-market and co-sell together in the marketplace and leverage each other's distribution and communications channels out into the marketplace.