Sprint has begun to release the PPC-6700 to business customers. Currently it is not available for consumers and even some smaller businesses are reporting difficulty in obtaining units. The device is replacing the PPC-6600 in Sprint’s lineup and is priced at $629.99 before rebate.
However one curious note about the device is its final form. The device from pictures on Sprint’s web site is completely unbranded, with no references to Sprint or UTStarcom on it. This may represent an ongoing conflict with UTStarcom and Sprint over the new ESRP program, which will handle future Sprint replacements. Under new ESRP guidelines, customers which do not have the $6 ESRP plan will be required to ship the phone back to the manufacturer. However, Sprint and UTStarcom have an agreement (made under Audiovox, long before UTStarcom purchased Audiovox) that Sprint will handle all warranty replacements for Sprint products, and that all UTStarcom products will solely bear the Sprint name.
To date, we have seen PPC-6700 shells that bear every combination of Sprint logo and UTStarcom logo, however, the conclusion of one lacking both logos leads us to believe that UTStarcom and Sprint have not yet finalized branding and warranty agreements for ESRP. This is especially concerning considering this is a post-merger device, not shielded until the end of the year. We strongly advise anyone who purchases this device add ESRP to their plan until we can confirm who is warrantying these devices currently.
PPC-6700 Business Product Page