Friday, June 08, 2007

Sprint drops U720 USB Y Cable

Anyone that has purchased a Sprint U720 over the last week or so, may have noticed two changes. The first, is the logo on the U720 has been updated to show the latest Sprint logo. The second change is that the USB Y Cable is now a single USB cable, no more Y. First of all, why was there a USB Y Adapter cable? According to original Sprint information, when you are in a fringe area, you can plug the U720 into the USB Cable that has 2 USB connectors for additional power.

So, why did Sprint decide to drop the USB Y Cable in favor of a single USB Cable? We contacted Novatel to get the official reasoning on the change and here is how they replied:

When the U720 was originally launched the Y cable was included in case additional power was needed. Since that time we have received market feedback and have completed intensive testing that suggests that a Y cable for increased power would only be needed .22% percent of the time, e.g. fringe coverage areas, etc. In Jan. '07 we presented the data to our customer and they agreed to remove the cable out of the kit.

We are not so sure about this spin on things. We suspect that there were a lot of support calls because customers didn't know which plug to plug in to their USB connector on their computer. If you only used one and plugged in the wrong one, your U720 wouldn't work. Perhaps, it was a cost issue. Sprint should do what Verizon does, have the Y cables labeled "1" and "2". From a support point of view, a tech can say, plug in the USB cable labeled "1" into your computer.

Here is the issue that we have....

Based on our experience, the Y Adapter actually works when in a very weak signal area. We have talked to many customers who were in fringe areas and when talking to them over the phone, after we plugged in the Y Adapter - it help OR made a big difference.

Here is the only thing that we don't understand. How can there only be .22% of areas that are fringe areas. Think of the coverage as a radius from the cell tower - there would be a lot more than .22% of fringe areas.

So, Novatel, got any spare Y Cables you can sell us - we know lots of future customers who could really benefit. We may have found a source for the Y Adapater cables and may be selling them after they pass our testing.

Related Links:

I didn't get a Y connector with my U720, where can I get one : EVDOforums