NEW YORK, April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Tonight, recording superstar Pharrell Williams kicks off a celebration of mobile music innovation from Sprint (NYSE: S), ushering in the next generation of smartphone sound and the arrival of one of the most-complete packages of music products, services, apps and access from one wireless carrier – making Sprint's signature Framily plan even more compelling for new and existing customers.
A forerunner in mobile music, Sprint pioneered the first mobile phone with a built-in MP3 player, the first mobile streaming radio service and the first mobile-streamed full-length concerts. Today, Sprint sets new mobile music standards with HD Audio sound on a groundbreaking handset -- HTC One® (M8) Harman Kardon® edition – sold exclusively by Sprint.
The new handset is the culmination of a months-long project that Sprint and its partners at HTC and Harman Kardon embarked on to redefine the way people listen to music on their smartphones:
- A revolutionary application -- HARMAN's Clari-Fi – that restores and "rebuilds" music fidelity lost during audio compression. The first time in a mobile device, Clari-Fi yields richer, deeper and clearer sound quality for compressed digital music (like MP3 downloads or streaming services like Spotify®).
- Lossless HD Audio music reproduction via a 24bit/192kHz DAC that delivers roughly six times the information of compact disc music and 60 times the information of an MP3 or streaming music source when playing high-res digital (FLAC) downloads from sources like HDtracks.com.
The HTC One (M8) Harman Kardon edition features industry-leading sound with HTC's proprietary front-facing speakers, dedicated custom amps for the speakers and headphones, and the device comes bundled with a custom set of Harman Kardon AE-S headphones with extended bass response -- a $149 retail value. It also boasts up to 160GB of total data storage with a microSD card slot that supports up to 128GB of storage cards on top of the built-in 32GB.
The device also features a full 5-inch HD (1080p) screen, Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801, 2.3GHz quad-core CPU, Duo Camera™ using the innovative HTC UltraPixel module and depth sensor, a dual flash, 1080p HD video recording, access to "world phone" global connectivity, and Sprint Spark for blazing speeds and crystal-clear HD Voice performance.
As a bonus, Sprint will offer the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio, sold exclusively by Sprint, for just $99.99 when purchased with the HTC One (M8) Harman Kardon edition. A $399.99 retail value, the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio provides the ultimate sound companion to all smart Bluetooth® devices, furnishing room-filling sound through its four powered speakers and dual passive radiators.
"For years, mobile music has been watered down and compressed into small, low-resolution digital files," said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. "The technological advances in smartphone processors and memories make high-quality audio possible today, so Sprint, HARMAN and HTC have partnered to bring this breakthrough to our customers."
The Sprint-exclusive device will be available at www.sprint.com or by calling 1-800-SPRINT1, starting May 2. It will be in all Sprint retail stores beginning on Friday, May 9. With Sprint Easy Pay, well-qualified buyers can purchase HTC One (M8) Harman Kardon edition with $0 down (plus tax) and 24 monthly payments of $28.34. A world-class audiophile-quality smartphone, the device will also be available in the coming weeks at www.crutchfield.com and www.wwstereo.com, two of the nation's leading providers of high-end electronics.
Experience music in more ways than ever
Sprint today also announces a national entertainment platform – Sprint Sound Sessions – at the core of which is a premium package of music and privileges for Sprint customers. Sprint Sound Sessions includes:
- Spotify – Sprint is giving customers access to Spotify's catalogue of more than 20 million songs. Spotify allows users to play music on demand, create playlists, discover new music, share tracks with their friends, listen to songs offline, and listen to music without ads across multiple devices.
- Sprint Music Plus – Sprint's official music store and player for music tracks, albums, ringtones and ringback tones.
- Music Live – an immersive and interactive experience that is continuously updated with the latest music news, current hits, new music and featured services. The "always-on" live experience enables customers to discover and engage with services that include Spotify, Music News Feed, Top Songs, NextRadio (FM Radio) – Music Downloads, Ringback Tones, Ringtones and ID-a-Song services.
- NextRadio – an application for listening to local FM broadcasts on customers' smartphones.
Sprint Sound Sessions will also include premium access to streaming music services, premium and discounted access to live music events, exclusive performance recordings, and advanced access to new artist releases. Sprint Sound Sessions will constantly evolve, combining benefits and exclusive opportunities that make music more accessible, memorable, and ultimately more satisfying for Sprint customers.
"Sprint designed Sprint Sound Sessions for customers interested in a more complete and active music experience," said Jeff Hallock, Sprint chief marketing officer, "with edgier programming and events, the ability to share perspectives with like-minded music lovers and simple and seamless ways to connect with others who share the same passion for music. Sprint Sounds Sessions will mark a definitive brand evolution for Sprint. If music is an important part of your life, then Sprint will become the wireless provider for you."
Sprint treats Framily members to six months' free Spotify Premium
As an added music bonus, Sprint will offer six months free of Spotify Premium for all new and existing postpaid Sprint customers (excluding Corporate Liable) who are on a Sprint Framily plan and have an Android smartphone, iPhone, Windows 8/8.1 smartphone, including the groundbreaking HTC One (M8) Harman Kardon edition. Customers not on a Framily plan can enjoy Spotify free for three months.
For Framily members there's one more bonus: after six months of free Spotify Premium, members pay a monthly promotional price of $7.99 (1-5 users) or $4.99 (6-10 users) for 18 months, depending on the number of Spotify Premium users in their Framily. After 24 months customers pay the standard Spotify price (currently $9.99 per month).
"With Spotify, people literally have all of the world's music in their pockets," said Daniel Ek, Spotify founder and CEO. "Spotify and Sprint share a passion for music and technology that makes this partnership a natural fit for both companies -- and the best music deal ever for Sprint customers."
Framily (1-5 people)
6 months free and then $7.99/mo. After 18 months, customers will pay full $9.99/mo.
Framily (6-10 people)
6 months free and then $4.99/mo. After 18 months, customers will pay full $9.99/mo.
3 months free and then $9.99/mo. (must opt-out)
Effective May 2, 2014, Sprint will partner with Spotify to launch 3- and 6-month free trials for all postpaid customers. It will launch in all channels on all compatible Sprint postpaid devices.
Access your favorite sounds on a Sprint device – with no contracts or credit checks
Beginning May 19, Sprint will make it easier to join a Framily by offering a no-credit-check option when customers sign up for a Sprint Framily Plan and purchase a Sprint certified pre-owned device, activate an existing Sprint phone, or choose to pay full price for their phone. As always, there are no contracts and no early termination fees with the Sprint Framily Plan.
To make Framily even more affordable, Sprint certified pre-owned devices will be available in Sprint retail stores starting May 9. Choosing a Sprint certified pre-owned device is an easy way for customers to get the latest technology at a fraction of the cost. Every certified pre-owned device is thoroughly inspected, tested and, if necessary, remanufactured according to new unit specifications. All certified pre-owned devices go through a 30-point quality checklist and are inspected for cosmetic defects so they will look just like new. Sprint offers customers a 14-day worry-free return policy on all its devices.
Sprint Spark speed and capacity will enhance Sprint music offering
The Sprint exclusive device and Sprint's compelling music offer will have the added advantage of running on Sprint Spark in markets where available. Sprint Spark represents a powerful, new network poised to deliver unprecedented capacity and speed*, offering an improved mobile music experience to customers.
Earlier today, Sprint launched six new Spark markets -- Newark, N.J.; Oakland, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Tacoma, Wash.; Waukegan, Ill., and West Palm Beach, Fla. Sprint has launched 24 Sprint Spark markets and is expected to reach 100 million people by the end of the year. In a related Sprint Spark announcement made earlier today, Sprint announced another HTC device -- Sprint's fifth for WiFi Calling on the Sprint Spark network – HTC One Max. WiFi Calling lets customers make and receive voice calls or texts from a WiFi network at no additional charge – another innovation, along with better mobile music, to improve Sprint's user experience.
In addition to increased capacity and speed, Sprint Spark also has brought the most advanced innovation in sound quality to its customers. As of today, High-Definition (HD) Voice has been deployed in 100 markets as part of the Sprint Spark build. Sprint expects 20 million customers to have HD Voice-enabled phones by year-end. Sprint HD Voice expands the normal voice call from a four-octave range to seven octaves, while helping to reduce unwanted background noise.
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets - supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2013. The company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE: HAR.
(©2014 HARMAN International Industries, Inc. All rights reserved. Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson are trademarks of HARMAN International Industries, Inc., registered in the United States and/or other countries. AKG is a trademark of AKG Acoustics GmbH, registered in the United States and/or other countries.)
Founded in 1997, HTC Corporation (HTC) is the creator of many award-winning mobile devices and industry firsts. By putting people at the center of everything it does, HTC pushes the boundaries of design and technology to create innovative and personal experiences for consumers around the globe. HTC's portfolio includes smartphones and tablets powered by the HTC Sense user experience. HTC is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE: 2498). For more information, please visit www.htc.com.
(© 2014 HTC Corporation. All rights reserved. HTC, the HTC logo, HTC One, the HTC One logo, HTC Sense, HTC Sense TV, Motion Launch, HTC BoomSound, HTC UltraPixel, UFocus, Zoe, HTC Dot View, HTC BlinkFeed, and all other HTC product and service names referenced herein are the trademarks or registered trademarks of HTC Corporation and its affiliates in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks and service marks mentioned herein, including company names, product names, service names and logos, are the property of their respective owners and their use herein does not indicate an affiliation with, association with, or endorsement of or by HTC Corporation. Offers, features, and product appearance and specifications may be subject to change.)
Spotify is an award-winning digital music service that gives you on-demand access to more than 20 million tracks. Our dream is to make all of the world's music available instantly to everyone, wherever and whenever they want it. Spotify makes it easier than ever to discover, manage and share music with your friends, while making sure that artists get a fair deal. Spotify is available in 56 markets across the world, with more than 24 million active users and more than 6 million paying subscribers: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Denmark, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, The Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. Since its launch in Sweden in 2008, Spotify has driven more than 1 billion US dollars to rights holders. Spotify is already the second biggest source of digital music revenue for labels in Europe (IFPI, 2011) and the biggest and most successful music streaming service of its kind globally.
Sprint (NYSE: S) offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint served nearly 55 million customers as of March 31, 2014 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint as the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all 47 industries, during the last five years. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America in 2011, 2012 and 2013. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
*Sprint Spark actual deployment plans and speeds will be determined over time based on many factors, including build economics and the availability of equipment, devices and applications.
For more information on Sprint Spark markets, please visit http://bit.ly/1tYZWj1