Telecom Timeout

Nov 5 2009   7:33PM GMT

Trouble in paradise: Amazon dumps Sprint for Kindle, falls into the arms of AT&T

Jessica Scarpati Jessica Scarpati Profile: Jessica Scarpati

Ah, young love. When Amazon launched the Kindle almost two years ago, the company proposed to Sprint Nextel Corporation: Support us! The wireless carrier accepted. They took the solemn vow to be partners in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad.

Although the Kindle was earning Sprint only $2 ARPU, the carrier was still reaping huge profit margins as Amazon picked up most of the operational costs.

But they say one in two marriages end in divorce, right? This couple is no exception. Amazon Kindle Director Russell Baker confirmed Amazon is dumping Sprint for AT&T so that it can support international users, according to FierceWireless.

“Sprint’s network uses CDMA technology, while AT&T’s uses the much more widespread GSM technology … Amazon’s decision to drop the CDMA Kindle is a blow to Sprint, which in the first quarter of the year touted its sales of the Amazon Kindle e-reader device as driving the majority of its 394,000 wholesale additions.”

No word from Sprint yet on this. We hope they’re not drowning their sorrows in a gallon of Edy’s, as we’re prone to do after a bad breakup.

UPDATE: Sprint spokeswoman Stephanie Greenwood responds.

The Kindle DX operates on the Sprint mobile broadband network, so Kindles currently in use or already in the sales pipeline will still be powered by Sprint. Sprint has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Amazon—since the Kindle first launched. We understand their international strategy and look forward to working with them on future projects.

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