Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sprint's Merlin S620 RIP

Sprint announced today that the popular Novatel Merlin S620 connection card has been discontinued. As the EVDOguy reported last week, Sprint is moving towards upgrading their system to EVDO Rev A, and it appears the Sprint has decided not to continue selling the S620 card now that the new S720 card is available. For PC customers, the lack of the S620 should not prove to be an issue, since the new S720 works perfectly with the current EVDO and has the benefit of being able to automatically switch to EVDO Rev A as soon as it becomes available. For Mac users, though, this could pose a problem since the new S720 card is NOT supported for Macs quite yet. The EVDO pros at are working on creating drivers so that Mac users will be able to use the S720, but it will be about a week before those modifications are ready. If you are a Mac user and need to purchase a Sprint EVDO card, your current options are as follows:
  • Purchase a Sierra AirCard 580. This is an older card (one of Sprint's first), but it IS supported for Macs and has an antenna port for external antennas.
  • Purchase a Franklin CDU-550 EVDO USB modem. We ship these pre-configured for Macs, so as long as you have an available USB port you will be able to use it. The only problem with this option is that Sprint is currently only selling these to coporate customers with federal tax ids (or EINs); we cannot sell to individuals. Read more about that issue in this article. We are hopeful that Sprint will change their minds and allow individuals to order. When/if that happens, we will report it immediately.
  • Wait for the S720 to be supported for Macs. Since the EVDOinfo team should have the necessary drivers/modifications completed within a week or so, this is the option we recommend (unless you need a card TODAY). If you can afford to wait a week or so for the S720, you will have the newest card and will not have to buy a new card when Rev A becomes available!