2.08.2011

Sprint hyping Monday announcement with David Blaine

On Monday, promises the Overland Park-based wireless carrier, illusionist David Blaine “will show you that the impossible is possible” with an “industry first.”

The company won’t say what Blaine intends to do at its press event. sprint announcement

Sprint has been deliberately coy about what it expects Blaine’s show to promote.

Actually, the invitation e-mailed three weeks ago to technology-obsessed journalists doesn’t specify that Blaine will even attempt a stunt. But why else bill him above company CEO Dan Hesse?

In a few phone-obsessive corners of the Internet, invites to the event at the Edison Ballroom in New York have blogs and tech-centric websites speculating what kind of rabbit Sprint might pull out of its hat.

Could it be an iPhone mated to Sprint’s 4G, or WiMax, high-speed wireless network? Blaine’s Manhattan magic is scheduled the day before Verizon Wireless starts to sell its version of the iPhone. “For Sprint, anything that can create a buzz is positive,” said Timm Bechter, a wireless analyst at Waddell & Reed.

But there’s broad suspicion it won’t be an iPhone, partly because many of those invited write mostly about Android smart phones powered by Google’s operating system.

“The majority of folks invited cover wireless, consumer products and electronics in general and not any one type of device operating system.”

AndroidCommunity.com speculated on a supposed job posting at Sprint for an engineer versed in camera technologies and floated the 3-D idea.

“Could David Blaine be bringing us floating images hovering just inches above our Android phones on Sprint?!”

The possible industry first could turn out to be an uber-geeky advance such as a dual-core processor — dual cores are to computer chips what turbocharging is to engines — in a Sprint phone. Or is it related to recently updated Android software for running electronic tablets?

With Blaine, Sprint appears to be joining a long tradition of using unusual theatrics to juice up publicity.

Taco Bell got a spike in sales after an April Fools declaration that it had purchased naming rights to the Liberty Bell. A plan by Snapple to erect the world’s largest frozen treat backfired in 2005 when the confection melted in the June heat of New York’s Times Square. sprint announcement

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