Sprint (NYSE:S) MVNO FreedomPop sold its initial batch of FreedomPop-branded Android smartphones within a day and a half of availability, which CEO Stephen Stokols said was "far better than expected demand."
Stokols declined to provide the exact number of phones that FreedomPop has sold so far. He said the figure contains five digits--putting the number of phones sold anywhere from 10,000 to 99,999. He said the company is no longer currently selling its refurbished, HTC-built Evo Design WiMAX smartphone, but that it expects to restart sales in the coming weeks. Stokols said the company plans to sell batches of 5,000 phones in order to scale up its operations and not overwhelm its systems with too many activations at once.
Stokols said that a total of 150,000 people have registered interest in the company's phone--a figure that's growing by around 15,000 to 20,000 per day. But Stokols cautioned that that number is simply the people who are interested in the device, not those who will actually pay for it.
Stokols described FreedomPop's Evo smartphone as a beta device, one that will require further tweaking. "The point of our launch was to get a beta out there and work out the kinks," Stokols said, adding that he expects testing to be generally finished by the end of the year.
FreedomPop earlier this month said that it will sell refurbished HTC Evo Design WiMAX smartphones for $99 without a contract. Evo buyers will be able to access the company's signature 500 MB of free data per month, but will also get 500 text messages and 200 anytime voice minutes free every month for life. Users can pay $10.99 per month to upgrade to unlimited calls and texts.
FreedomPop launched a year ago offering 500 MB of free wireless data (mainly through USB modems and hotspots) in the hopes that customers would pay for extra data and other services. The company's Evo launch represented FreedomPop's entry into the branded smartphone business. The company today counts well over 100,000 customers and revenues growing 20 percent month-over-month.
Stokols said that FreedomPop so far has launched one value-added service for its Evo phone customers--voicemail. He said the company expects to add additional services, such as international calling and video conferencing, in the future.
In other FreedomPop news, the company announced that Telespree Communications provides the real-time metering services for its smartphones and data services. Specifically, FreedomPop's Evo uses Telespree's Active Session Monitoring Service to distinguish between VoIP-based data and general data services.
- see this Telespree release
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