Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Goodbye to Sprint's EVDO U720 Modem? EOL on 07/23?

We took at least a half dozen calls this past week, from folks who found us online after having no luck trying to buy a U720 from Sprint online or Sprint stores.

All of them were told the U720 would reach "EOL" (End of Life) as soon as 07/23. What's odd about this rumor/claim being made by Sprint store employees, is that this past Monday we discovered Sprint had raised the price on the U720 in our ordering system from $99.99 to $129.99.

When was the last time you saw the price of a soon-to-be-discontinued item increase just before being dropped? Seems like a really strange thing to do. If we didn't want something around anymore, we'd drop the price and encourage folks to buy our inventory.

Some of the callers were even told that the U720 was such a bad device that Novatel themselves did not plan on ever upgrading U720's firmware again. Thats simply preposterous. People who have been buying the U720's since last December are on 1 or 2 year contracts. If for some reason, the U720 could no longer be used on Sprint's network, they would have to offer free replacements.

What we suspect is, there is some secret marketing agreement that pulled the U720s from Sprints stores in favor of the 595U, and the store employees had to come up with some explanation for why they could no longer sell the U720.

In any case... if you have been thinking about getting a U720 and don't want to risk the chance that the EOL rumors might be true... our team tracks number of available units in system and last we checked there were over 800 available to us.

Are these the last 800 U720's? We honestly don't know.

If you want one, maybe you better just order it online now:

PS: for those who can't commit and are worried about the future... we're working on alternative supply of U720's, but it could be a few weeks.

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